Mercadom Operations Begin; Producers and Consumers Celebrate
Santo Domingo, May 15, 2014
With the presence of President Danilo Medina and on the occasion of the celebration of Farmer’s Day, the Dominican government launched the Santo Domingo Market (Mercadom) and the National Food Network.
The 2014 Mercadom Expo Fair was opened at the same time.
This is the first central wholesale market in Santo Domingo and it is part of a project, designed by the Dominican State, to revolutionize and modernize the marketing of agricultural products in the Dominican Republic for the benefit of wholesale producers, retailers, and consumers.
In this regard, the Minister of Agriculture, Ángel Estévez, referring to the simultaneous opening of several markets in different parts of the capital, said that these establishments are part of the first phase of the National Food Network (Rena – Red Nacional Alimentaria). The network was established by Law 108-13 creating the Dominican Agricultural Wholesale Markets (Mercadom).
He stressed that this effort is an example of the State’s continuity, because it started during the government of Hipólito Mejía Domínguez, who was present at the opening ceremony, and it was completed by President Danilo Medina, in the framework of public policies for the recovery of the rural areas.
This is also an expression of his will and the work he has been doing from the beginning of his administration, with the vision of serving the people.
The officer explained that the Government has invested over RD$5,000,000,000 in infrastructure, taking into account the additional investments made in the three retail markets that were jointly opened today.
“This network represents the beginning of the modernization and upgrading process of all public markets in the country with the aim of turning them into attractive commercial spaces for the sale of fresh, healthy, and natural products, sold in a clean, hygienic and comfortable environment”, said Estévez.
In his welcoming remarks, the General Manager of Mercadom, Eusebio Guzmán, stressed that the work was completed with great effort and determination, following the example set by President Danilo Medina, “whose work promotes the Dominican rural areas”, which, he considered, should be emulated by all public officials.
He said that it was a happy day, a day of rejoicing for both the producers and the consumers.
Agricultural entrepreneurs attended the event, and, in this context, it should be noted that the Dominican Republic would not only be capable of supplying agricultural products to countries such as the United States and Canada, but also to the islands of the Caribbean, “who are our neighbors”.
The event was blessed by Archbishop Benito Ángeles.
President Medina toured one of the aisles of the farmers market, in the company of the Minister of Agriculture and the Manager of Mercadom.
The President was accompanied at the head table by the Administrative Minister of the Presidency, José Ramón Peralta; former President Hipólito Mejía; Senator Cristina Lizardo; and, the Mayor of East Santo Domingo, Juan de los Santos.
The Director of the Office of Engineers Supervising Public Works (OISOE – Oficina Supervisora de Ingenieros y Obras del Estado) Miguel Pimentel Kareh; the Director of the Special Fund for Agricultural Development (FEDA), Antonio López; and Municipal authorities, among others, also attended the event.
The unveiled work is considered the largest and most modern agricultural wholesale and distribution market throughout the Caribbean and Central America. It is set on an area of over 1,2 million square meters.
The structure of the market is made of six large aisles totaling 7,200 square meters, which accommodates 278 wholesale shops and 616 spaces of six meters each, dedicated to direct sales of produce.