Economy September 12, 2022 | 11:05 am

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Minister of Agriculture ensures that agricultural production in the Dominican Republic has doubled

Limber Cruz during a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture. (Diario Libre)

The Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, said today that the prices of basic products of the family basket recorded a decrease and estimates that for the coming months will continue to fall because the country has a high food production to supply the needs nationwide.

He said that “people want everything to go down all at once,” but the reality is that this happens by segment. Already, the prices of agricultural sector products have experienced a significant decrease, among them the six foods that consume 80% of the income of the Dominican households: banana, chicken, eggs, potato, rice, and beans.

Limber assured that production in the agricultural sector has doubled, especially that which is carried out in controlled environments. “We used to register a production of 12.5 million pounds per month and today we are at 25 million per month,” he said.

He detailed that among the foods that have increased their production the carrot, with an increase in the harvest of 7.3 %, potato by 7.5 %, and banana by 11.8 %. Meanwhile, chicken went from the production of 600,000 per unit per month to 20 million, which has reduced the cost per pound in the different stores.

FAO projects that food prices will continue to rise
According to the minister, the country’s high production of agricultural food is due to the direct subsidy for that sector, which seeks to impact producers so that they can acquire the necessary inputs to raise their production.

“We had to subsidize corn, flour, bread and fertilizers, among other products” so that the agricultural sector could respond to the decrease that was being registered due to the international context of the war between Russia and Ukraine that affected some processes in the country, Limber explained.

He added during a press conference that part of what has been impacting the cost of other products at the national level is the supply chain, which has become more expensive due to the high fuel cost and the delay in import logistics.

This morning, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the Dominican Republic warned that food prices will reflect increases in 2023 due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, the area from where a good part of the fertilizers used in the world’s agricultural activity comes from.

Rodrigo Castañeda argued during his participation in the XXIII National Meeting of Leaders of the Agricultural Sector, organized by the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) that FAO projections on the cost of food are that they will remain high throughout next year.

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