President Luis Abinader launches the 2022 rice harvest and highlights the country’s food self-sufficiency

President Luis Abinader began this Friday the rice harvest 2022, at a time when the country is self-sufficient in the production of rice to ensure food for the Dominican people.

As a sign of his support for national production, the President ordered a subsidy of 100 pesos to the producer for each bushel of rice delivered to the factory, which is equivalent to 450 million pesos.

The check for this amount was delivered to the president of the Dominican Association of Rice Factories, Fausto Pimentel, and to Marcelo Reyes, president of the National Federation of Rice Producers.

Fenarroz and the Parceleros de la Reforma Agraria presented a plaque of recognition to President Abinader for his support to the rice sector at this difficult time.

The start of the 2022 rice harvest marks the 60th anniversary of the Juma Rice Experiment Station in Monseñor Nouel province.

The president recalled that in 2021 they recorded a historic rice harvest with a national production of 14 million 500 thousand quintals. More than one million quintals is the surplus of rice produced in the last harvest, compared to 2020.

Accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, and the administrator of the Agricultural Bank, Fernando Durán, the head of State assured that the Government will maintain all the necessary support to the sector.

He referred to research, which has been fundamental to achieve the results of the harvest, and to the production and commercialization chain of the crop.

The aim, he said, is to guarantee the profitability of the producer and stable prices for the consumer. Likewise, to position the country as a reliable and competitive supplier in international markets.

He expressed to the rice sector that they can count on the government to help them, protect them and implement all the necessary measures.

The welcoming remarks were made by the governor of the province, Raquel Jiménez, who expressed her joy because Monseñor Nouel had never had the presence of a president for the rice harvest.

“Thanks to the president for his support to the agricultural sector”, she said.

For the beginning of the current harvest, producers, millers and industries, as entities that finance and produce the cereal, were summoned.

Magnitude of production
He highlighted the benefits that rice brings to the country’s economy, which reach 42,000 billion pesos, equivalent to about 750 million dollars.

“Some 32,000 producers are responsible for making possible each year the magnificent national production of rice, whose efforts generate more than 300,000 thousand direct jobs,” said the president.

He stressed that Dominican producers are innovators in their production techniques for having achieved a greater variety of grain, better quality seed and L.R.C. technology (Clean, Yield and Quality). (Clean, Yield and Quality), a brand developed on Dominican soil by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Compensation in the purchase of fertilizers
He told the producers that the Government is present in these very difficult times, due to the exorbitant increases in production costs at the international level, due to the prices of agricultural inputs, which constitute a very heavy burden for farmers.

In this regard, President Abinader informed that the government will continue the price compensation program for the purchase of fertilizers, so that for the next three months the producer will continue to buy the fertilizers he applies to his crops at the same prices as in September.

He added that the Government is implementing and will continue to implement programs to support this important sector so that it continues to be one of the Dominican hallmarks best recognized in the world.

He said that since the beginning of his mandate he has been making efforts to increase the production of the national agricultural sector with the clear objective of not only satisfying the local demand for food of Dominicans, but also to increase the local quantity and quality of products for export.

He added that this is why, when he was informed that the Juma experimental station dedicated to rice research was celebrating its 60th anniversary, he wanted to personally attend to share with producers and technicians this moment of celebration for the achievements and progress that the country has made in this crop.

Self-sufficient in rice production
The President thanked the work done in Juma, because to date the country is considered self-sufficient in rice production, a staple crop in the diet of the Dominican people, with one of the highest consumption averages in Latin America.

“Rice is for Dominicans the main food crop we have, and on which depend directly between 250 and 300 thousand people involved in the whole process of immediate production,” he insisted.

To this work, he added, are added thousands of people and the whole economy of the households which benefit indirectly by their participation in some of the processes of production and distribution.

New variety of rice
President Abinader announced that as of today, the new variety called LRC Juma 70-22, which is characterized by being tolerant to herbicides and stands out for its excellent productive, industrial and culinary qualities, is in the hands of national producers.

The president reported that the development of new varieties has been the north of the season. The Juma 57 and 58 varieties have been the starting point, remaining for more than 20 years in the preference of producers.

He also recalled that starting in 2015, and with the hiring of Dr. Federico Cuevas, a series of works aimed at achieving more adaptable materials for these varieties was initiated.

As a result, this is the most widely planted variety in the Dominican Republic and thus has reached a record production in 2021.

President Abinader valued the work and contributions throughout the 60 years of work of the rice research center and recognized the figures of Dr. Yin Tieh Hsieh and Dr. Cuevas, among many other national and foreign technicians who have left their mark in the sector and very specifically in the genetic improvement of rice cultivation.

“Thanks to the work done here in Juma, the Dominican Republic is considered a self-sufficient country in rice production, a staple crop in the diet of the Dominican people, with one of the highest consumption averages in Latin America,” he said.

He acknowledged that thanks to farmers in general, for their dedication and hard work, Dominicans enjoy food security.

“You, with your work and effort feed the Dominican people. And there is no better purpose or better objective than that,” he emphasized.

Minister of Agriculture
Minister Cruz stressed, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Juma Rice Experimental Station, that the Ministry of Agriculture, through Bioarroz, emphasizes that all the rice varieties planted in the country have come from this farm.

“Countless people have passed through this experimental farm and have developed Dominican rice agriculture, thus strengthening our agriculture and livestock,” he said.

He informed that the Government has provided free land preparation services.

Rice growers
The president of the National Rice Growers Federation (FENARROZ), Marcelo Reyes, said he was proud to be present at the activity.

A posthumous tribute was paid to the father of Dominican rice, Dr. Yin Tien Hsieh, who arrived in the country with his team in 1961.

He thanked the President because he has kept his word in response to his commitments.

Present at the ceremony were former President Hipólito Mejía; the Minister of State without portfolio, Geanilda Vásquez; the senator for the province of Monseñor Nouel, Héctor Acosta; the senator for the province of La Vega, Roberto Genao; the president of the Special Fund for Agricultural Development, Efraín Toribio and the mayor of Bonao, Heberto Antonio Núñez.

In addition, the director of the Price Stabilization Institute (INESPRE), Iván Hernández and of the IAD, Guillermo García; the director of INDRHI, Olmedo Caba; the governor for the province of La Vega, Luisa de la Mota, and of the Special Fund for Agricultural Development, Hecmilio Galván.

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