Dominican Republic encourages dragonfruit exports

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Dominican Republic encourages dragonfruit exports

In an effort to diversify agricultural production, the Dominican Republic has announced a program to bolster dragonfruit production.dragon-fruit_ffp

Minister of Agriculture Ramón Rodríguez highlighted the fruit's export potential, especially for specialty markets that have developed a taste for the tropical product.

Although of Central American origin, the fruit has gained popularity among growers and producers in many parts of Asia. Rodríguez identified the Asian population living on the U.S. East Coast as a market segment with interesting potential.

"This fruit represents one of the Dominican Republic's options to diversify its export portfolio and increase grower income," Rodríguez said.

The Dominican Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Research (IDIAF) will lead the program with financing from the agricultural bank, Bagrícola.

The first phase of the program will implement pilot crops in two regions of the country, serving as an educational springboard for national replication.

Although white-fleshed dragonfruit grow wildly in the Dominican Republic's arid forests, the fruit has not yet been developed for wider commercial production on the island.

In 2009, IDIAF began collaboration with Taiwanese officials to encourage dragonfruit plantations directed at exports.

Currently, IDIAF has eight dragonfruit varieties at its fruit station in Peravia, the Ministry of Agriculture reported. The varieties have been made available to producers interested in pursuing production.

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