Posted by: D. M. | May 31, 2010

JARABACOA: Agro-forestry and Ecotourism Jewel in the Dominican Republic

JARABACOA. – Taking advantage of its great agriculture, forests and ecotourism, Jarabacoa’s Ecotourism, Coffee, Greenhouses and the Agro-forestry University (UAFAM), will host the first Agro-forestry and Ecotourism Fair from June 3 to 6, 2010.
Agroforestry is the system of agriculture of growing trees mixed with other farm enterprises such as crops and livestock.  Agroforestry  is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.  In Dominican Republic this is an update practice. Many farmers nurtured trees on their farms, pasture lands and around their homes. Many people use agroforestry products and services in both rural and urban areas every day of their lives to cook with, eat, drink, take as medicine and sit on products grown on agroforestry systems.

Also products from agroforestry trees bring the much needed income to the rural families and assure them food and nutritional security especially in drought periods.

Trees under agroforestry do provide farmers with many products and services.

  • Food
  • Fuel wood
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Poles
  • Fodder
  • Medicine
  • Timber
  • Mulch
  • Shade
  • Windbreak
  • They also play an essential role by:
  • Providing food security to the farming community
  • Covering the soil from agents of soil erosion
  • Enhancing soil fertility by recycling nutrients
  • Improving Micro climate
  • Providing living fences
  • Demarcating boundaries
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Controlling weeds.

Even many other people from the rest of the world depend heavily on non-timber products from agroforestry systems like in Dominican Republic. This include every thing from pharmaceuticals, oils, fruits and fibres.
Reasons as to Why Many Farmers are Practicing Agroforestry in Dominican Republic.

Scarcity of land to establish wood lots or practice lone forestry.

Many farmers in Dominican Republic especially in the highlands do have very small pieces of land ranging from quarter of an acre of land to two acres and for this reason there is no other option to meet the above mentioned advantages other than practice agroforestry.

Density or increased population this dose not only put pressure on the farm sizes but also increase the demand of timber products mostly the much needed materials for construction and furniture.

High cost of fertilisers and fuel energy encourage farmers especially those trained on organic farming to recognise the benefits in which trees can do to them in terms of nutrients recycling, composting and also providing the much needed “KUNI” firewood.

Some of the commonly planted trees in agroforestry include:

  • Leucaena.
  • Calendar.
  • Grevillia robusta.
  • Makhamia lutea
  • Sesbania sesban
  • Fruit trees e.g. mangoes, ,avocado, citrus and many other fruits.
The event aims to promote and market and agro-forestry products and ecotourism services in the area, to learn about each sector’s reality, to serve as a joint platform for trade and spur environmental protection.
The United States Agency for International Development, through its USAID – DSTA and USAID – NETWORK programs sponsor  the Fair, with support of the National Competitiveness Council, Tourism Ministry, Popular Bank, Agriculture Ministry, FERSAN, Brugal, Jarabacoa City Council, CODOCAFE, INDUBAN, FERQUIDO, Dominican National Brewery, MERCASID, Group Belarminio Ramirez, among others.
This activity will be open to the public starting 5 p.m.   Thursday, June 3, 2010 on the land located in the Federico Basilis highway, in front of the Texaco station, Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: