Dominican Republic: Training in organic farming in La Vega

In an environment surrounded by nature, ideal for disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of cities and professional obligations, training in organic agriculture was held from 20–24 June 2022 at the La Vega Cooperative Club House with 12 participants from a variety of backgrounds. These included participants from a company in San Francisco de Macoris (2), associations of banana producers (3) and other organic crops (1), representatives of the Departments of Organic Agriculture (2), Extension (1) and Plant Health (1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (2).

The training was conducted in an interactive way. The trainers were Eng. Juan Arthur, with a long experience in the sector, and Dr. Colmar Serra, a specialist in biological and integrated management and agro-ecological production. The main objective was to reinforce the participants’ knowledge of organic agriculture and production.

The programme covered topics on the origins and definitions of different types of organic agriculture and production, and the impacts of conventional practices on agro-ecosystems, soils and their management, biological and integrated pest and disease management, management of “associated flora”, production of organic planting material, organic conversion and organic standards and certification.

During practical work, visits were made to two farms: Finca Tierra Negra, with a focus on cocoa cultivation associated with fruit trees and other plants in a syntrophic agroforestry system; and Finca Sancocho, a raspberry plantation in transition to organic production. The tours were a very interactive and interesting experience for everyone.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market SPS programme, implemented by COLEACP within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.