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USAID Supports Tree-Planting Project in San José de Ocoa

USAID apoya proyecto de siembra de árboles frutales en San José de Ocoa

USAID Supports Tree-Planting Project in San José de Ocoa
Santo Domingo, 12/10/2010

In an effort to raise the income levels of growers in the province of San José de Ocoa, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently supported the project of “Planting fruit trees under irrigation associated with short cycle crops.”  This initiative was carried out by the San José de Ocoa Development Association, Inc. (ADESJO).

Con este proyecto se logró el establecimiento de sistemas agroforestales de bajo riego y se logró incrementar la producción en aproximadamente un 50 por ciento en 614.2 tareas que incluyen árboles frutales como aguacates

This project managed to establish irrigated agro-forestry systems and raise production levels by some 50 percent on the 614.2 tareas (approximately 386,000 square meters) which includes fruit trees such as avocados, Persian lemon and Keitt mango, as well as short cycle crops such as beans, green vegetables, carrots and eggplants, among others.

The project was carried out near three important basin areas of the Ocoa River: the Nuez-La Horma, Arroyo Blanco-El Limón y Banilejo. Prior to beginning the project in the area, only 25 to 30 percent of the original wooded areas still remained, as a result of inadequate use of the land.

The project is directly affecting 125 producers in the region around the municipalities of
Sabana Larga and San José de Ocoa, as well as the communities of Las Caobas, Los Martínez, El Cercado, Los Arroyos, Los Almendros, El Puente, Las Cayas and El Rifle.

At the same time, 147 producers were trained in agro-forestry systems of irrigation associated with short cycle crops, in areas related to plagues, illnesses and fertilization of fruit trees and vegetables. This project helped to directly improve the living conditions of 123 farmers. 

James Watson, Interim Director of USAID said that, with these types of projects aimed at improving productivity and competitiveness of small agricultural producers, the USAID is contributing its grain of sand to decrease the levels of poverty in the Dominican Republic. “An effective way of combating poverty is to help small producers increase their incomes and improve their technical capacity which will help elevate living conditions for them and their families,” said Watson.

According to the technical information, the areas in question have “the adequate climatic conditions in terms of soil and water,” which are needed for these types of projects and he assured “the success of the initiative.”

Prior research has determined that the soil in these areas, currently being used for short cycle cultivation, is in conflict of use situation in approximately 80 to 90% of the area. For that reason it is necessary to implement measures that will take care of the environment and introduce new production systems to resolve the problem. 

Also, one of the problems facing the small producers in the area, in addition to the geological conditions, is the lack of credit which lowers their possibility of improving their earning power and living conditions.


USAID, through grants provided under the Rural Economic Diversification Project, supports small, collective investments of up to 2.5 million Dominican pesos to clusters and organizations of producers with the aim of stimulating rural economic diversification. Fifty-one grants have been made through this mechanism to organizations or producer associations for a total of 100.4 million Dominican pesos. For their part, the beneficiary groups have contributed 144.5 million Dominican pesos in cash or goods for a total investment of 244.9 million Dominican pesos.

The San José de Ocoa Development Association, Inc. (ADESJO).

ADESJO was founded on July 12, 1962 and was officially recognized in 1968. It is a non-profit, non-governmental institution whose philosophy and main objective is to accompany groups which seek to find humane and sustainable economic alternatives through comprehensive development resulting in a decent standard of living through participation and community organization in the hope of making the rural communities self-sufficient and in control of their own destinies.

USAID apoya proyecto de siembra de árboles frutales en San José de Ocoa

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