President Luis Abinader presented this Monday in LA Semanal, the actions taken by the Government to protect the family budget, and showed the progress and direction of the program “A comer: del campo al colmado”, which seeks to guarantee fair prices for both the consumer and the producer.
The President explained that the program, still under construction, is being developed in West Santo Domingo and already has 1,600 grocery stores incorporated.
Work continues so that by February the rest of Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago will be incorporated, and later La Vega, San Cristóbal, San Francisco de Macorís, San Pedro de Macorís, Puerto Plata and other large cities in the country.
On the subject, Fernando Durán, administrator of Banco Agrícola, informed that it is estimated that there are between 60,000 and 90,000 grocery stores in the country and that there are 16 products that constitute the basic diet with which they work, since they impact low-income families, among these, rice, salt, beans, pica pica, spaghetti, yucca, sweet potato, plantain, onion, garlic, among others.
Subsidies and donations
The President also summarized Government actions, such as subsidies and donations, in favor of the family budget, assuring that “they have achieved that the increase that has occurred worldwide is mitigated, and that inflation is lower than in other countries”.
He began with the increase of monthly food rations to 600,000, through the Social Plan of the Presidency. He continued with the subsidy of DR 5,150 million to fertilizers, as well as that of fuels, which in 2022 alone was DR 35,000 million, keeping the price of diesel at 25% below the estimated.
Planting material was donated for more than DR 585 million; equipment was rented for DR 2,363 million, to prepare the land for cultivation. Also, due to Hurricane Fiona, DR 5,490 million were donated to agricultural producers, especially in the East and Northeast.
While food security was at stake, the zero tariff for imports was maintained; INESPRE’s mobile warehouses have been multiplied; the Economic Canteens have purchased DR 4,235 million in agricultural products, and the Bono Aliméntate was doubled, through Supérate, among others.
Likewise, Fernando Durán informed that Bagrícola has facilitated credits in these 3 years, for more than DR 97,000 million and that, at the beginning of the Government, the portfolio was only DR 23,900 million, but currently it is around DR 52,000 million.
Increase in production
In reference to the increase in the production of the most important products of the food basket, the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, detailed that during the Government of President Abinader, 14.5 million quintals of rice are produced and more than one million were exported to Haiti, in only six months.
The quantity of bananas also increased by more than 300 million units; garlic increased from 30,000 quintals to 75,000 quintals; 340 million eggs are produced per month and 16 million quintals of chicken, and in the case of potatoes, the country is almost self-sufficient.
The minister also highlighted that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), for 2 consecutive years, the country has reduced the undernourishment rate from 8.7 to 6.7, and this year it was reduced even more, reaching 6.3.