CIBAO AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK SECTORS: STRONG IMPACT ON THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
As we have stated in more than one article on ciboproductiva.com.do, the northern zone holds the title of the most fertile and productive region of the Dominican Republic. In recent statements, the Governor of the Central Bank Héctor Valdez Albizu highlighted the contributions that the Cibao region makes to the national economy, being the absolute leader in different lines, in accordance with the statistics of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so its regional office based in Santiago de los Caballeros seeks to accompany its processes productive.
Knowing that the free trade zones, telecommunications and tourism sectors have grown a lot in our country, the agricultural sector continues to be the most important in the economy and the one with the greatest growth capacity to supply domestic consumption and for exports, in order to attract more foreign exchange.
The great contributions of Cibao to the Dominican economy are confirmed by directors of the National Confederation of Agricultural Producers (CONFENAGRO) and the Association of Small Poultry Producers of Moca and Licey al Medio (APPROAMOLI), who affirm that the provinces of the Central Cibao, the Northeast and the Northwest Line are the most productive in the country.
Such assertions were made during a meeting of these organizations with Dominican legislators held in 2017, where the threat of reduction of agricultural production by the Free Trade Agreement with the United States was discussed. It is stated that the base of the Cibaeña economy has been revolving around the agricultural sectors, such as the cultivation of rice, the production of chickens and eggs and the raising of pigs, which are the fundamental source of income in the area.
The contribution of these productive lines is so important, according to the aforementioned entities, that The Cibao region produces 70% from rice at the national level, more than 90% from eggs and pigs and more than 60% from poultry production.
According to Department of agriculture, the country has eight (8) agricultural regions, which are: North, North-Central, North-West, North-East, Central, East, South and South-West. About rice production, the regions with the highest participation are: Northeast, with 40,409 hectares planted (11,059 producers); Northwest, with 17,036 hectares planted (4,889 producers); North central, with 15,131 hectares planted (3,167 producers) and Southwest, with 9,609 hectares planted (5,849 producers). According to these official data, the Cibao area has a stake of 88.3% of the area planted with rice and the 76.6% of the producers.
The largest production of rice corresponds to San Francisco de Macorís, La Vega, Monsignor Nouel (Bonao), María Trinidad Sánchez (Nagua), Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), Valverde Mao and Montecristi.
On the other hand, the higher production of chickens, eggs and pork of the Dominican Republic is concentrated in the provinces of Espaillat (Moca), Santiago de los Caballeros, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo) and La Vega. It is stated that the agricultural sector employs approximately 50% of the economically active population of the region, being the Cibao Valley the most important agricultural area in the country.
Regarding cattle (beef and milk production), the Cibao is one of the regions with the highest production of the Dominican Republic. In the 14 provinces of the area, cow breeding activities are carried out for the consumption of meat and even more importantly, the production of milk. The province of San Francisco de Macorís (northeast) stands out, followed by cities of the “northwest line”, such as Santiago Rodríguez, Dajabón, Valverde Mao and Monte Cristi. In these last cities of the northwest zone there is also an important activity of goat breeding (goats and sheep).
Other lines of great importance in the productive activities of Cibao include Tobacco, Cocoa and Coffee, three (3) agricultural segments with packaged products and recognized brands.
The Tobacco It is so relevant to the economy of Cibao and the rest of the country, that more than 350 million cigars are exported every year, with a value that is close to one billion dollars, being considered the highest quality in the world. The main tobacco production areas are located in the towns of Santiago de los Caballeros (more than 50% of total production), Valverde Mao and Espaillat (Moca).
The former Minister of Agriculture Osmar Benítez stated in 2018 that some 6,000 million units of cigarettes are exported, of which 20% are premium or artisanal, while the remaining 80% corresponds to machine manufacturing. He reported that the tobacco industry It directly benefits more than 100,000 people and more than 350,000 in related activities, with 93 companies dedicated to the production, industrialization and export of the product, of which 73 are from free zones and the rest, private capital.
With respect to CocoaIt is important to note that the Dominican Republic is one of the most important producing countries worldwide and in this sense, lhe Cibao area is the undisputed leader locally and specifically, the northeast area (especially in the Hermanas Mirabal and San Francisco de Macorís provinces), which has under cultivation more than one and a half million cocoa tasks, which represents at least 75% of the total planted, which is around two million tasks at the level. national.
A key aspect about our cocoa is its quality level, both natural and organic, as well as its different varieties. So much so that the Dominican Republic is the world leader in the production of organic cocoa, with around 60% of export volume, which is equivalent to more than 300 million dollars (only of that type of cocoa).
The third important agricultural line is Coffee, which not only represents high economic levels, but also It is key to the reforestation of mountains and the source of rivers.
Despite the fact that Dominican coffee production has been reduced in recent years due to sanitary difficulties, lack of investment and little renovation in growing areas, our country continues to be one of the main producers and consumers in the Caribbean area. According to recent information from the Dominican Coffee Council, in the Dominican Republic more than 500,000 quintals of coffee are produced each year, of which around 75% is consumed locally and the remaining 25% of golden, roasted, semi-roasted and ground coffee. It is exported to the United States, several countries in Europe, Japan, and the Caribbean islands.
It is estimated that the 52% of coffee production is obtained in the Cibao region, especially in La Vega, Monsignor Nouel (Bonao) and Santiago de los Caballeros. The rest is harvested in the South region. Coffee represents the livelihood for some 50,000 families and direct employment for some 200,000 people, nationwide.
Within the agricultural sector of Cibao, it is necessary to highlight in a special way the contributions of Constanza and Jarabacoa, which are two key municipalities in the province of La Vega.
The Constance Valley (mountainous area) is characterized by its great beauty and its good climate, producing a large amount of vegetables, fruits and flowers throughout the year (which cannot be produced in other territories of the country), such as garlic, cucumber, tomato salad, carrot, celery, lettuce, cabbage, potato, broccoli, molondrón, beet, chili pepper, bell pepper, aromatic herbs, strawberries and a wide variety of flowers. This Valley has about a million and a half meters of cultivation in a controlled environment or greenhouse and in the open air it has around 100,000 tasks in production.
Constanza's production supplies a large part of the Dominican consumer market, restaurants in our main cities and large tourism hotel chains established in our country.
The area of Jarabacoa, near Constanza, does not lag behind in the cultivation of different agricultural varieties, also supplying important markets in the national territory and exporting to the United States and Canada, among other nations, which generate more than 100 million dollars each year. The producers of this locality produce high volumes of vegetables in greenhouse.
Finally, we consider as an important contribution to highlight the wood production in the Cibaeña region, which is the one with the greatest contribution of the country in this matter. The most important productive forest areas are in Santiago de los Caballeros (especially in the mountainous municipality of San José de las Matas), in La Vega (Jarabacoa), in Dajabón (municipality of Restauración), in Santiago Rodríguez and in Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí). Considering caring for the environment, in the face of indiscriminate felling of trees, we work based on forest management plans.
According to information from officials of the Ministry of the Environment and directors of the Dominican Forestry Chamber, in an effort to reduce the importation of wood, which represents more than 300 million pesos, The country has more than 100,000 hectares of forests that produce more than 800 thousand cubic meters of wood in around 6,500 medium and small farms, benefiting more than 200,000 people who live in rural areas from planting, caring for, harvesting, handicrafts, industrialization and marketing of wood.
In a general sense, the Cibao region is the largest producer of agricultural lines in the Dominican Republic and together with the aforementioned products, large quantities of bananas, bananas, cassava, potatoes, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple, corn and other great varieties of products for national consumption and to export to different countries in the Caribbean area and North America.