NCBA CLUSA launches USDA food safety project in Dominican Republic

DR SAFE launch 500 a712cDR SAFE launch 500 a712c[From left: U.S. Ambassador in the Dominican Republic, James "Wally" Brewster; Executive President of JAD, Osmar Benitez; NCBA CLUSA Chief of Party, Carlos Rivas; and Dr. Ulises de Beras, President of both the Agribusiness Association (ADHA) and Association of Ranchers in Eastern Dominican Republic.]NCBA CLUSA, along with local partner Junta Agroempreserial Dominicana (JAD), formally launched the Safe Agriculture Food Export (SAFE) project in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, marking NCBA CLUSA's return to the Caribbean nation. 

Known locally as Progana and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the SAFE project will continue through 2020 and work with dairy and beef producers across 11 provinces to improve agricultural productivity for livestock and expand exports and trade. The project will raise the standards of these industries to be able to increase food safety for both local consumption and bring the quality up to U.S. import levels.

“Beyond achieving equivalence, this project will improve the competitiveness of 5,000 beef producers and 10,000 dairy producers and processors across the country,” said U.S. Ambassador James Brewster.

DR SAFE 500 6942aDR SAFE 500 6942a[The milk processing center at Pasteurizadora Agampta.]Held at the JAD premises, the launch was attended by U.S. Ambassador Brewster, the Dominican Republic’s Minister for Public Health Altagracia Guzman Marcelino and representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Planning and Development, as well as project stakeholders and representatives from the beef and dairy product associations.

The project signed 11 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with project partners during the launch event and tasted beef and dairy products from local processing centers that will receive project support.

“Together, and only together, we can achieve great changes in Dominican livestock,” said Carlos Rivas, NCBA CLUSA’s Chief of Party for the project during the event, noting a strategy of horizontal collaboration across partners.

The SAFE program marks NCBA CLUSA’s first project in the Dominican Republic since the 1980s. In addition to JAD, NCBA CLUSA is also partnering with Texas A&M’s Borlaug Institute and Cooperative Resources International (CRI).

See a video of the launch from local television station Ruta Ganadera TV [SPANISH].


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