José Manuel Domínguez Alvarado

May It Be Eternal While It Lasts

What makes a relationship last? Experts have said that for an affective or business relationship to last a long time, the essential things are to keep the commitment alive and a high degree of confidence between the parties. Also, to work together to keep things running smoothly. In the Dominican Republic, in Central America & the Caribbean, a region already severely affected by drought and climate changes, the steady partnership between Bayer and the local farmers has overcome some difficult challenges.

Our partnership with farmers is a journey based precisely on commitment and joint work. Internationally recognized for its truly paradisiacal landscapes, the region also stands out in the agricultural sector, particularly in crops such as bananas and coffee.

Honduras, for example, ranks fifth in world coffee grain production in a ranking that includes giant producers such as Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. According to the Honduran Coffee Institute, in the 2016-2017 harvest, the country exported US$ 1,327 million. Meanwhile, in the Central American region, banana exports reached US $ 1,920 million, according to CentralAmerica Data.

Still, despite the growing agricultural results, there are challenges which need to be addressed. Water scarcity and high temperatures have become a constant problem, especially for the cultivation of rice, which requires flooded areas (rice is of great importance in the diet of Central Americans).

Bayer through Crop Masters and other external partners is researching and testing ways to improve water management and soil health. This close interaction has resulted in lasting relationships such as the alliance we initiated three decades ago with producer Américo Rodríguez. Since Rodríguez began his work in the 80s on his property in Valverde province, in the Dominican Republic, we have been supporting him to get the best out of the crops he grows.

José Manuel Domínguez Alvarado,  Crop Manager F&V Latam North
José Manuel Domínguez Alvarado,  Crop Manager F&V Latam North
José Manuel Domínguez Alvarado,
Crop Manager F&V Latam North

Rodríguez is the head of 300 hectares farm dedicated to the production of bananas and rice. He not only has to manage the water shortage during certain periods, but also he had to face surplus water during very rainy seasons, which are also plagued with pests and diseases. Together with Rodríguez, we try to recognize and anticipate pests and help him to control and eradicate them before they expand.

Moreover, the technology transfer in the fields of the Dominican Republic and the Central America region is providing new ways to overcome the challenges of agriculture. With innovative biological tools and products such as Serenade, specifically used against some diseases, the Rodríguez’s farm has improved land management and reduced costs. Likewise, the incremental investments in sustainable production, the adoption of safety equipment and certifications through Food Chain Partnerships have helped to generate new opportunities despite the increasing demanding market certifications.

We are working alongside by reinforcing the importance of producing more, while conserving the environment and reaching production results. This is how we are helping more people have access to healthy and nutritious food.

In 2018, the partnership between Américo Rodríguez and Bayer celebrated its 33 anniversary. We have accompanied other farmers like Rodríguez, through unimaginable transformations in agriculture, from technological progress, to the outbreak of diseases and plagues not known before, as well as climate change and its severe implications in the region. All these have only been possible because Rodriguez and Bayer have been highly committed to agriculture and trust each other. We are looking forward to the next 33 years!

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Joelma Amaral
June 26, 2018 - 03:22 PM

Hi excellent article congrats!

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