In order to encourage the national production of cocoa, the Special Fund for Agricultural Development (FEDA), runs several programs to support cocoa producers in the southern region of the country, which are part of the National Plan for the Transformation and Renewal of the Dominican Cocoa Culture (Tamo en Cacao) implemented by this entity.
Hecmilio Galván, executive director of the entity, has proposed to promote several projects that allow the massive planting of cocoa in southern locations of the country, as a way to diversify production in this region, while generating employment and wealth, but above all to protect the environment. Coconut, coffee recovery and avocado are also being widely promoted for this purpose.
According to Galván, the planting of organic cocoa in the Dominican Republic is a real blessing, because this crop creates agroecological and agroforestry farms that protect the vegetation cover of our soils, preserve the water cycle and also protect biodiversity, in addition to generating income for producers due to the secure market for the product.
Pedernales is an important point on the government’s development agenda because 13 hotels, a cruise ship port and an international airport are being built there. However, its water sources are limited, so it is necessary to protect the mountainous areas in order to preserve the water cycle.
Thinking about the tourist future of Pedernales, the FEDA director is executing a plan to promote the cultivation of cocoa, as well as the diversification of coffee and avocado crops produced in the José Francisco Peña Gómez district.
Galván pointed out that this institution donated to producers of Pedernales a nursery of 1,000 square meters for the production of plants which is already in operation and also donated some 100,000 cocoa plants, as well as tools (picks, shovels, machetes, hoes, rakes and wheelbarrows, among others) to some 200 producers, which are already being planted in the hills of Pedernales.
In Paraíso, Barahona, the institution benefited 300 producers with the construction of a 1,000 square meter nursery for the production of plants and the construction of a cocoa collection and fermentation center with an investment of close to 14 million pesos for both projects, in order to increase production and improve the added value of cocoa.
These projects are being executed with the Cooperativa Agropecuaria de Servicios Múltiples del Municipio de Paraíso (COOPAMUPA) and the Cooperativa Agropecuaria de Servicios Múltiples del Suroeste (COOPASURO), to which FEDA also donated 100,000 cocoa plants, 50,000 bags for the production of plants, tools for pruning and management of cocoa plantations and farming tools to the farmers, said Galván.
The official indicated that FEDA technicians gave the cocoa growers of Paraíso and Pedernales, 10 days of training, which included instructions in organic fertilization, harvesting and post-harvesting of cocoa.
FEDA is focused on implementing the National Plan for the Transformation and Renewal of the Dominican Cocoa Industry (Tamo en Cacao) throughout the country, and has delivered more than 1,000 agricultural tools to cocoa producers in Villa Altagracia, La Cuchilla and Medina, all of which are located in San Cristóbal.
The institution has also donated more than 30,000 seedlings in Villa Altagracia and intends to donate 50,000 seedlings in Yaguate, a new cocoa-growing area for the country.
The delivery of the nursery for the production of cocoa plants in Paraiso and Pedernales, where the director of FEDA highlighted the importance of the projects of support of this institution to cocoa producers, for domestic consumption, export and especially environmental protection.
These activities were attended by the governor of Pedernales, Miriam Brea, the cocoa advisor of the Executive Power, Isidoro de la Rosa; the mayor of Paraíso, Francisco Acosta; the president of COOPASURO, Manolo Guevara; Rafael Beltré, in charge of FEDA Project Follow-up; Rafael Bueno, in charge of Agricultural Technology; Dorka Orquídea González, FEDA provincial director in Barahona; Ramón Emilio Jiménez, FEDA regional director; and Dios Virgilio Uceta, Indocafe regional director.