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Pig farmers say imports cause bankruptcies, violate trade pact

Dominican Today, Dominican Republic

Pig farmers say imports cause bankruptcies, violate trade pact

19 October 2011

Santo Domingo. – Pig farmers denounced that thus far this year the Agriculture Ministry has approved the import of nearly 6,000 tons of pork meat beyond the amount approved for the entire 2011, violating the Free Trade Agreement’s (DR-CAFTA) tariff quota.

Victor Abreu, who heads a group of 250 pig farmers in Cayetano Germosén (north), said the lack of control sent 30% of all small pig farms out of business, reason why he affirm threatens the supply of pork meat consumed during Christmas, despite Agriculture minister Salvador Jimenez’s assertion that there’ll be enough.

As to imports Abreu said the allotment for port and its derivatives for this year is 6,000 tons (duty free), but 11,600 tons have entered the country thus far. “We aren’t opposed to their imports, they can import, but regulated, not violating the Free Trade agreements and protecting local producers.”

He said the country consumes 70,000 pigs to supply fresh and processed meat to the local market and around 30,000 have to be imported. “But just in April they brought 80,000 pigs from the United States,” resulting in a fall in prices and pigs weren’t bought from the local farms.