Dominican Republic - Agriculture



Dominican Republic Agriculture 1343
Photo by: Phillip Minnis

With almost 30% of the total land area suitable for crop production and about 17% of the labor force engaged in farming, agriculture remains the primary occupation, accounting for 11% of GDP in 2001. Value of agricultural output grew at an average annual rate of 7.1% during 1968–73, but since 1975 the sector has been hampered by droughts (1975, 1977, and 1979), hurricanes (in 1979 and 1980), and slumping world prices and quota allocations for sugar (since 1985). In 1999, agricultural production was 0.4% higher than during 1989–91. The fertile Cibao Valley is the main agricultural center. In 1998, arable land totaled 1,020,000 hectares (2,520,000 acres); with land under permanent crops at 480,000 hectares (1,186,000 acres).

After Cuba, the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean producer of sugarcane, the nation's most important commercial crop. The State Sugar Council (Consejo Estatal de Azúcar—CEA) operates 12 sugar mills and accounts for more than half of total production. Other large producers are the privately owned Vicini, with three mills, and Gulf and Western, whose largest mill is at La Romana. In 1999, sugar production was 4.4 million tons, down from an average of 7.1 million tons during 1989–1991. Output of sugar has declined annually since 1982, and land is gradually being taken out of sugar production and switched to food crops. Production of raw sugar rose from 636,000 tons in 1990 to 813,000 tons in 1997 but fell to 374,000 tons in 1999. The Dominican Republic has the largest single allocation of the US sugar import quota.

Another leading cash crop is coffee. Part of the crop was destroyed by hurricanes in 1979 and 1980, and 1979–80 production was only 670,000 bags (40,200 tons). Although production was usually about 57,000–59,000 tons annually in the 1980s, the acreage harvested declined from 157,000 hectares (388,000 acres) in the early 1980s to 139,000 hectares (363,000 acres) in 1999, indicating a greater yield per acre. Coffee production in 1999 was estimated at 35,000 tons; exports of coffee in 2001 generated $11 million. Cocoa and tobacco are also grown for export. In 1999, production of cocoa beans was 26,000 tons and of tobacco, 35,000 tons. Banana production in 1999 was 432,000 tons. Production of other crops in 1999 (in thousands of tons) included rice, 563; coconuts, 184; cassava, 127; tomatoes, 281; pulses, 69; dry beans, 26; eggplants, seven; and peanuts, two.

Under a land reform program initiated in 1962, a total of 178,602 hectares (441,333 acres) had been distributed to 36,480 farmers by the end of 1977. The government encourages fuller use of the nation's arable land through extensive land-clearing and irrigation projects and diversification of crops. Some mechanization has taken place on the large plantations, but primitive techniques are generally used. In 1973, the first stage of the Integrated Agricultural and Livestock Development Plan was initiated, calling for an investment of $38.1 million, to be financed by the IDB. The plan was designed to provide credit and technical aid to 45,000 small farmers, improve side roads, and study the country's water resources. The second stage of the plan, in the early 1980s, included extension of farm credits, reforestation, manpower training for irrigation projects, and reorganization of the Dominican Agrarian Institute.

Agricultural exports, mostly in the form of sugar, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and cigars generated $533.6 million in 2001, or 67.1% of total exports. The government and private sector are emphasizing diversification to nontraditional agricultural crops such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

User Contributions:

Salomon
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Feb 27, 2008 @ 9:21 pm
Wow im am in grade 8[13 years old] and this article has helped me so much with a geography project that i have to compare 2 countries with each other and especially the agriculture of the dominican republic... i couldn't find this information anywhere else

THAANK YOUUU!!!
lismary
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May 21, 2008 @ 7:19 pm
thank you, you have helped me with my language arts prodject thanks
johanna
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Oct 16, 2008 @ 4:16 pm
im a senior i used this information for my senior project and this info has helped me a lot. my teachers said that i did a great job. thanks to this information.. thanks
Selena
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May 21, 2009 @ 4:16 pm
Thank you so much, i'm in grade 6 (12) and we have a project on trading partners, and i looked on so many sites for agriculture in the dominican republic, i found nothing . BUt with this site, i found everything ! THANKYOU SO MUCH !
Trapaholic 3xclusiv3
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Oct 6, 2009 @ 10:10 am
I am writting a paper in my writting class! i love this website! (im in 8th grd) Gracias!
halle
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Dec 10, 2009 @ 6:18 pm
this made my spanish report a lot easier but his directions are hard grade7(12)
becky
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Jan 5, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
im in 7th grade and you have helped me sooo much on my world cultures project and other websites dont help me as much as this one soo thank u very much and now im sure that ill get a good grade in my project because of the great information thank yoy
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Feb 20, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
This has been a very great help for me because I have to do a five page research paper in my Spanish class on the Dominican Republic.

(I'm 15, in the 10th grade)
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Mar 9, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
Thank you, you have helped me finally finish my project for my 8th grade homework assignment. THANKS!!!
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Mar 12, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
Thank you so much. This has helped me in my project in Social Studies about the Dominican Republic and our teacher has not given us enough time and this has been a big help!
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Mar 18, 2010 @ 11:11 am
I'm doing a project on a new product in the Dominican Republic and this article helped me greatly. Very precise and simple information.
Jessica
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Mar 21, 2010 @ 7:19 pm
Being in 6th grade(12), this help me a lot in my social studies country report on Dominican Republic. Thank You!
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Oct 28, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
This helped me so much! I'm in gr.5 and my class had to do a project on eny country besides Canada!Thank you!
Joann
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Nov 15, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
I am a grandmother who is in her 3rd year at The University of Toledo. Spanish is my major. We are doing a discussion on the Dominican Republica, no where else could I find so much agricultural information. Thank you. Joann
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Jan 20, 2011 @ 5:05 am
i have question on oil.
do you need crude or refine fuel?
Jasmyne
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Apr 28, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
this has helped me out so much thank you thank you for all the info.
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Apr 29, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
I need to know the FDA procedure for tuna exporting to US.
peyton
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May 11, 2011 @ 7:07 am
Im in 6th grade and we are doing a race acroos latin ameraca and this was a lot of help
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Nov 15, 2011 @ 9:09 am
this has helped me alot on my reserch than you very much for this information!:)
kim
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Jan 24, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
Thank You So Much this information has helped me do my research paper on Dominican Republic. Im in 7th grade and im spanish myself, and i was born and raised there for about 7 years. Then my mom took me to America and i've been here ever since!
jaykob
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Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:11 am
This website rocks i am writing a report i am a 6th grader
Jason
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Jun 15, 2012 @ 11:11 am
This website rocks! I am a CEO (34 years old) and working on a report on the Dominican Republic for my job. This was tremendous help! Thank you!
Dylan
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Oct 23, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
THANKS SO MUCH IM IN GRADE 6 AND THAT REALLY HELPED A IN SOCIAL STUDIES YAY
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Nov 7, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
THIS WEBSITE IS AMAZING I HAVE TO DO A TRADE SHOW AT MY SCHOOL IN SOCIAL STUDIES AND THIS HELPED ME GET ALOT OF INFORMATION
mika
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Dec 16, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
Thank you so much, I've been struggling with trying to get information for my Spanish project and this helped a lot. ^-^
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Jan 8, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
In 2010 the CEA demolished my g-g-grandfather's mill, the Ingenio Consuelo and sold it as scrap iron to China to build a bridge. In 1920 my g-grandfather, William Louis Bass, fled to the states fearing jail time for the expansion of Central Ingenio Romana. He sold Magdalene and Consuelo for $100,000. There is much more, the studies should go deeper.
AnnaLaura
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Apr 25, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
Thanks, I am A 6th grader at East And I am doing a project on the Dominican Republic for my LA teacher Mr.Leonhardt, THIS SITE HELPED A LOT THX
Elissa
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Jan 27, 2014 @ 9:21 pm
Great information. Definitely a great starting point for a paper. It would be great to have updated information and data for those using the site for research projects. This is certainly a great starting point!
Parker
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Apr 3, 2014 @ 9:09 am
THANK YOU!
This has helped a lot about this information I couldn't find anywhere else!

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