Delegación de la Unión Europea en Colombia

Financing Plan for the Competitiveness of the Banana Sector and its Communities, BANANODOM

22/06/2018 - 00:00
Agriculture and Food Safety

Improve access to financing for banana producers to develop more efficient, environmentally friendly and farm-oriented economic development practices.

Total Cost (EUR): 7 700 000

EU contracted amount (EUR): 7 000 000

Duration: April 2014 - October 2018

Implementing organisation: BANCO MULTIPLE ADEMI SA

Funding Instrument: Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI)

Benefitting zone: Dominican Republic

 

STORY : Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) for the Dominican Republic

The project has helped us improve our skills in banana production. Some practical things we had been doing wrong in our plantation for years, thanks to the training we learned how to do it right. Now we are doing much better and we get more bananas from the plants than before. The project has really shown how important knowledge is for us farmers. It has helped so many banana growers in Mao region
 
 

Mayovonex Estevez, farmer and owner of an organic banana plantation in Mao, Valverde Province

 

CONTEXT

Banana is one of the main economic products in the Dominican Republic. The country is the biggest producer in the world of organic bananas, and is the biggest exporter of both organic banana and Fair Trade banana to Europe. The majority of the workers in the banana sector are migrants, and most of them do not have access to benefits of social security. In 2015, about 90% of the workers categorized as immigrants or foreigners in banana plantations were of Haitian nationality. Among migrant workers an estimated 24% are illiterate, and there are difficulties for them to obtain identity documents.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • To increase productivity of banana plantations – to produce more bananas of better quality per banana plant, and at the same time maintain both a selling price which is competitive and reasonable production costs.
  • To produce bananas in a more sustainable way, maintaining the natural resources which allow farmers to produce good quality bananas also in the future. The producers and workers learn proper biodiversity management and better management of soil fertility, water, pesticides and plastic waste, which are the most important environmental challenges for the banana sector.
  • To offer good working conditions, salary and benefits for producers and workers in the plantations and packing houses. The programme for example helps Haitian workers in the banana sector to obtain identity documents.
  • To help making the banana sector better organized, throughout the value chain - from plantation to the market. Through associations and cooperatives it is easier for small-scale banana farmers to keep the production costs low, to access markets and to get certifications such as organic and Fair Trade.

 

RESULTS

  • 4 600 banana producers and technicians trained, 6 000 banana plantation workers trained (10 % women). Training of 1 000 producers on organic and Fair Trade certification, training on labour rights and social security for 400 additional producers.
  • Farmer's organizations strengthened. Now the associations are better coordinated, and a National Banana Committee is put in place to help regulate banana policies and phytosanitary issues.
  • 1 500 farm development plans on good agricultural practices and more efficient production realised and implemented. The producers and workers have learned about biodiversity management, green mulching, soil fertility, water use, pesticides use and recycling of plastic waste. For example the pesticide and fungicide use has decreased by 80 % since beginning of the project.
  • Credit to banana small and medium size farmers improved through a fund operated by local microcredit bank – 539 farms have been financed.
  • Application at the national regularization plan for 15 800 Haitian workers, 600 Haitian descendants born in the Dominican Republic supported to obtain Dominican documents.
  • 2 500 people completed literacy courses (18 % women). Learning to read and write improves access to information and knowledge and increases awareness among the banana plantation workers.
  • The internet portal www.siba.org.do operational. The website provides up-to-date information to all actors in the national banana sector. It provides statistics to the banana producers, making it possible for them to make managerial, economic and productive decisions in their farms. It is also a useful tool for the national authorities, for designing sectorial policies.

 

TESTIMONY

Junette Charles, migrant from Haiti and a mother of four, works as a cleaner in a banana plantation in Mao to bring income to her family. Through the project she now has a regular migratory status and has the opportunity to learn to read and write.

Junette moved from Haiti to the Dominican Republic 11 years ago with her husband. They migrated to find work, to get out of poverty. Her husband was working in the banana plantation until last year when he had an accident. To get an income for their four children Junette started working at the same plantation her husband had worked in.

Most Haitian migrants speak only creole when coming to the Dominican Republic. Around 60 % of the Haitian people are illiterate. For the integration in the Dominican Republic for the Haitian workers, learning to read and write in Spanish is key. The project offers workers, producers and inhabitants of the banana community a literacy programme, to teach them to read and write.

"Being able to write my own name is so important to me. Learning to read and write make us workers have more control. I really like the classes, we meet two evenings a week."

Junette has managed to keep her family out of poverty even after her husband's accident. She is raising an income and her children can go to school. Improving her skills in Spanish and learning to read and write makes her feel even more confident and she feels more at home in Dominican Republic. "This is my country now, I am happy here", says Junette.

 

LEARN MORE

 

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • There are around 2 000 banana farms in the Dominican Republic. Out of these 80% are small (less than 3 hectares) and medium sized (3-10 hectares) farms and 16% of the banana producers are women.
  • The main producing areas are located in provinces with high poverty rates (55-65%): Valverde, Azua and Monte Cristi.
  • More than 300 000 persons benefit directly or indirectly from the banana sector. More than 50 000 workers are employed in the banana production, and another 30 000 are employed in the export sector. Nearly 25 000 Haitian immigrants work in banana farms.
  • Around 300.000 tons of bananas are exported annually: 80% of the banana export is organic and is produced on more than 1 000 farms. 95% of the organic banana export goes to Europe.
  • Since Dominican Republic is the biggest producer in the world of organic bananas, it is very likely that the organic banana you buy in your local shop come from one of these farms!
  • The BAM programme has 3 components: a credit component of € 7.7 million, a technical assistance component of € 5.5 million and a labour component of € 3 million.

 

PARTNERS

 

 

 

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