Dominican Republic plans to boost 'gourmet' mango exports
A new US$47,631 mango ripening and storage center has been launched in the Dominican Republic to improve the country's access to European and local gourmet markets, website Lanaciondominicana.com reported.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contributed US$19,180 towards the centre, which is aimed at reducing poverty and helping economic diversification.
Land for the centre was granted by the Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research (IDIAF) with the Agriculture Ministry offering technical support.
The new center should boost the income of 100 small mango producers as well as creating 10 direct washing, processing and packing jobs.
The Dominican Republic has more than 1,000 mango producers with 3,000 hectares of plantations producing 50,000 metric tons (MT) annually, as well as 14 exporters and five processing companies.
In 2004, the Dominican Mango Cluster (PROMANGO) was formed to create a structure for producers, suppliers, traders, processors, exporters and state institutions to foster business on a national and international level.
Commercial varieties include Tommy Atkins, Kent, Keith, Parvin, Mandame Francis and the Creole cultivar Banilejo.
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