Dominican Republic: Strengthening the banana value chain through the growth of inclusive markets
Banana production is an important source both of foreign exchange for the Dominican Republic and of employment and income in the poor provinces of the Northwest and South of the country, where poverty exceeds 50 %.
But the sector faces the threat of potential competition from within the EU and from major banana producing countries whose yields are double that of the Dominican Republic. In addition, the sector faces further challenges from climatic risks and as a result of the international financial crisis. Productivity must therefore be increased so that the rate of return relies on competitiveness in production and commerce, rather than on preferential trading agreements.
The Joint Programme helped to strengthen the banana value chain by installing technology and ICTs, boosting competitiveness in production and commerce, promoting decent work and developing the community’s human and social capital through use of the inclusive markets model.
- Increase competitiveness by introducing new production technology (irrigation and energy) in small banana farms;
- Improve competitiveness by incorporating R & D, information technology, marketing systems and marketing of bananas for the domestic and export markets, and training in business, management and labor issues, as well as risk management;
- Support public-private participation in the provision of economic and social services linked to producers and workers in the banana sector;
- Promote Knowledge Management.
Main achievements included:
Innovation: Producer associations were assisted to construct updated websites with real time pricing information for the domestic and international markets, and monitoring systems to allow better control of the production process from farm to port.
Capacity building of banana production organizations: Training was provided to thousands of participants, including farmers, workers, their families and members of the communities. The approach was holistic and included information on management and management associations, health and safety, access to credit, business management, productivity, marketing, and the rights and duties of workers and employers.