SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The Dominican Republic expects to benefit 54,000 small farmers and increase their average net income per hectare by 12 percent in ten years, through a $22 million loan financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that will improve the agricultural research and technological capacity of the country.
The IDB loan will strengthen the technical and strategic capacity of the Dominican Institute for Agricultural Research (IDIAF) in order to address current deficiencies and improve productivity. The program is aiming to achieve greater integration between research and technology transfer, improve south-south cooperation with similar centers and promote innovation through cooperation with the international research centers and private sector.
In the Dominican Republic the production in the agricultural sector is predominantly carried out by small farmers. This sector accounts for 7.7 percent of the GDP and almost 40 percent of the country’s exports value. While the sector has posted positive GDP growth of an average 4 percent in the last decade, the productivity for most crops is 50 percent below the regional average. This productivity gap is partly due to poor research, outdated practices and lack of access to the newest technologies.
IDB’s six year program will strengthen the technical capacity of the IDIAF by supporting modernization of experimentation and transfer, as well as the upgrading of infrastructure, research equipment and laboratories. Additionally it will support human development through training courses and post graduate education. Furthermore, it will promote technological agreements with international research institutions and will finance the partnerships between the private sector and the IDIAF aiming at finding innovative technological solutions.