Faced with the claim of the Dominican rice sector, the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruzassured that the conversations on the subject DR-Cafta “they are doing very well”.
“They are doing very well, USA They are aware that in the Dominican Republic rice is a product for national consumption and many families depend on the rice industry,” Cruz said.
The rice sector has been protesting the tax relief on rice imports in the Dominican Republica process that would affect local producers because it would create unfair competition.
“Rice generates more than 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and more than 20 provinces live, practically from rice production,” said the head of the Dominican agricultural portfolio.
He added that the rice sector involves more than 45,000 million pesos.
“Agreements are agreements and you have to honor them, but if there is a special situation, you can also sit at the table and discuss, negotiate the situation and, obviously, we can correct this situation that confronts us in the coming years,” he said.
Limber Cruz spoke when visiting the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) within the framework of the Latin American Citrus Congress, organized by the Lemon Cluster of the Dominican Republic, a JAD partner.
Self-sufficient in rice production
“You have to find a solution because that doesn’t happen in other Central American countries. There are Central American countries that barely produce 20% of what they consume, we we are self-sufficient in rice production,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz.
He assured that the rice production in the country it is around 14 million quintals per year.
“We are a country very dependent of that category (rice)”, he pointed out.
The president of the Republic, Luis Abinaderacknowledged, on February 27 before the National Assembly, that he will not allow instability in the national rice sector because it would create a “true social crisis.”
“Another problem that we are closely monitoring since the beginning of my government is the one that looms over our rice production, due to the great impact that the strong tax relief would have on zero rate that would apply to imports of rice from 2025 and 2024, provided for in the DR-Cafta”, pointed out the president.
He highlighted that of the rice income depend:
- More than 90,000 direct jobs
- 320,000 indirect
- 300 factories
“The economic activity generated by this crop represents more than 45,000 million pesos, whose instability would create a true social crisis, which we are not going to allow”, he emphasized.
Despite these words from President Abinader, the Dominican rice sector will exhaust an entire agenda that includes protests and mobilizations so that the authorities do not forget to follow up on the issue of DR-Cafta.
A rice farmer who requested reservation of his name, told Free Daily that will take to the streets next Thursday and Friday to demand the protection of the sector.
“Governments that we had in recent years they have promised us to solve the looming threat, but in the end they do nothing. We want to protect this industry that has generated wealth in the country for more than 100 years,” said the producer.