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Haiti and Dominican Republic Join Forces to Tackle Cocoa Cultivation Threat

Haiti and the Dominican Republic, together with representatives of the private sector of both countries, are working to define and apply a common strategy to prevent an eventual occurrence of moniliasis, a disease that attacks cocoa crops.

This initiative is coordinated by the Directorate General for Multilateral Cooperation (Digecoom) and the offices of the National Computer of the European Funds for Development of the two nations.

Currently there are no reports from either country of the presence of the disease that would put the economy of the cocoa sub-sector at risk, but there is a real threat.

The disease has been present in Jamaica since 2015, where it is causing serious damage, explained in a press release by Antonio Vargas Hernández, the General Director of Digecoom.

“The alert on the threat of the monilia forces the authorities, the producers and the different sectors linked to its commercialization and the population in general, to be on the lookout to detect any symptoms of its appearance,” he said.

Vargas stressed that cocoa is a key crop for both countries, and that in the case of the Dominican Republic, its export generates significant income and is of great social impact, since dozens of families from the northeast region live from its cultivation.

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The official was speaking at the “Binational Meeting for the Validation of the Moniliasis Prevention Strategy and Emergency Protocol” of the two nations.

The activity, organized by Carabean Export, also included Herve Philippe, technical advisor of the Office of the National Computer of Haiti; José Villagra, from the local office of the European Union, and Reynaldo Ferreiras, director of the Cocoa department of the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture.

Also in attendance were Cleome Abel, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development of Haiti; Kim Sassine, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of that nation, and Idelfonso Medina, Executive Vice President of DR Cocoa Foundation, as well as specialists in the field.

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