Santiago Klee

Alliances Are Strengthening the Farm Industry

Customers are no longer just customers, but true partners interested in integrated solutions. Building alliances was never so fundamental to businesses. While this way of doing business is advancing by leaps and bounds, farmers in the Dominican Republic have a deeply rooted tradition of cooperation and applying integrated solutions, an approach that have helped their success.

With 45 thousand square kilometers and 450 thousand cultivable hectares, the Dominican Republic is among the most outstanding producers of the Central American & Caribbean region.

The key crops in the country are rice, sugarcane, bananas and vegetables; however the fertility of the local soil allows the Dominicans to plant the most diverse cultures such as potatoes, coffee, and pineapple, among many others. In these productive scenarios, Bayer has become a facilitating agent that connects farmers to technology and experts in technical assistance and management.

Under the concept of Food Chain Partnership, which is based on strengthening the food value chain and the promotion of sustainability initiatives, Bayer is helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (17 proposals signed in 2015) aimed at, among other things, promoting sustainable consumption, address climate change and eradicate hunger. This is the reason why In the Dominican Republic, the Bayer teams have supported the producers not only in the field but also in the development of their businesses and care for the environment.

Santiago Klee
Santiago Klee
Santiago Klee,
Country Commercial Lead Dominican Republic & Caribbean, Bayer

Currently, we are expanding the sustainability network in the country, mainly through raising awareness about the proper disposal of empty containers. Together with the Dominican Republic government and private associations, Bayer has built a collection center, where at least 140 producers can deposit empty containers of agricultural products. At the facility the containers collected are properly washed and taken to recycling. Due to the success of this first center, Bayer, in partnership with a local distributor, is planning the construction of a second collection center in the next months.

To strengthen the value chain, we are implementing other initiatives across the most diverse crops. We introduced Dominican potato producers with potential buyer, for example, during Fruit Logistica 2018, the largest fresh produce fair in the world. This allowed the producers to expand their contacts towards future agreements, as well as to learn what is new in the global food chain.

We have also raised strategic technical inputs among our partners and even to the farmers who live near them. We are constantly offering technical trainings and fostering the discussion of important issues that need to be overcome daily. For instance, we have held talks with experts in phytopathology to teach mango growers how to overcome or avoid pests during the post-harvest. We are partnering with rice producers’ in an important field monitoring work to be able to identify diseases and the most effective solutions.

Probably our most lasting alliance in the Food Chain Partnership program so far, is with the producers of organic bananas, the most exported crop in the Dominican Republic and one which makes the country stands out worldwide. We started working with banana growers four years ago introducing the application of uniquely efficient biologics and with the support of a team of experts, we helped them through all growing phases in order that they could achieve the certifications required by international standards.

With organic banana growers, we also worked on improving processes, such as fruit packaging. The waste of fruit due to damage in the cleaning and packing process is a continuous problem in banana plantations. By involving experts from other areas within Bayer, we found solutions to the production line of these farmers so that their final products arrived without damage for export.

In this country within the Central America & Caribbean region, as well as in various places where Bayer operates, the development of joint programs has already proven to be effective and shown positive results; whether financial or social, we are offering more than products, we offer field solutions that aim at helping farmers take care not just of their crops, but the environment. We are working with them to ensure they reap the benefits or their hard work but also consumers and our planet are better off. There is no better way to shape the future of agriculture, but united.

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Thriving for Change - Championing Agriculture for a New Generation