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El Cercado, Dominican Republic.-  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Rural Economic Diversification Project and its program to install low cost greenhouses and agro-forestry systems with organic practices, inaugurated six low cost greenhouses and 30 agro-forestry systems to help preserve around 440 hectares of lands.

This project has contributed to spur a cultural change in the planting methods of 72 small farmers in El Cercado (southwest), who’ll no longer use the hillsides and instead will plant organic products in low cost greenhouses, leading to higher income and protect the zone’s environment.

The project’s cost of 5.8 million pesos included 3.3 million in matching funds from the communities and a USAID donation of 2.5 million conducted by the Ecological Agriculture Promotion and Hydrographic Basins Management Group (GPAE-MC).

Through the initiative the zone’s farmers were trained in organic vegetable production in greenhouses, the establishment of agro-forestry systems, application of ground conservation practices and the elaboration of natural fertilizers and insecticides.

“This is an initiative of great impact for these small farmers since they’ll now be able to access tools and production techniques that will allow them to increase their income and improve their living conditions, while respecting the environment,” said Duty Greene, Economic Policies Adviser USAID.

The activity’s primary target is to support the farmers and agribusinesses in five communities in San Juan Province, to produce organic vegetable in greenhouse, and establish agro-forestry systems that allows them to diversify their production.

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COMMENTS
3 comment(s)
Written by: WalterPolo, 6 Oct 2010 11:04 AM
From: Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata
I hope USAID has a permanent inspector on site to prevent Dominican creativity to transform the greenhouses in cabanas, hormone-fed chicken coops, low-cost housing or just abandoned.
Written by: Atabey, 6 Oct 2010 11:42 AM
From: United States, Bring DT Forum Back--
WalterPolo,

I agree, but still a movement in the right direction. I have a good feeling that perhaps my hunch that LF has been extended a lot of perks by the Big Boys, starting with the 800 pound Guerrilla the USA, and that if things are handled correctly, even better dividends await the DR in the future. It's an open secret that the USA has given Brazil certain responsibilities in the Caribbean, as the US begins to adjust its geo-political posture to include middle weight nations such as Brazil into its overhaul strategic planning. Globalization is in; for small dependent nations neo-nationalism and protectionism are out. TINA rules and DR will do far better if it gets on with it.
Written by: Cabaretecanuck, 7 Oct 2010 11:34 AM
From: Dominican Republic, Cabarete
Walterpolo, hormone fed chickens? Surely you are thinking of the US, not the RD? The farmers may move into the greenhouses, but I wouldn't worry about chemical use or abuse, that's a North American specialty. Most third world farmers are too poor to use chemicals!
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