Dominican poultry farmers overcome Haiti crisis by exporting cultured eggs to Cuba

In response to the disruption of trade with Haiti since mid-September, poultry farmers have increased efforts to find new markets for their products, particularly eggs. They have successfully shipped 1,036,800 units to destinations such as Aruba, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Cuba in three weeks. However, this action has not fully satisfied the surplus Haitian demand.

International traders have become aware of the surplus and approached local producers with commercial proposals, including an informal call from Spain, as reported by the President of the Dominican Poultry Association (ADA), Jos├ę Luis Polanco.

Polanco announced that the ADA will soon receive an order from Cuba to formalize and expand exports to that destination. This effort to diversify markets had already begun about three months ago, but the closure of the Dominican-Haitian border in mid-September accelerated the process, attracting the interest of around six countries in the production of Creole eggs.

Despite these efforts, Polanco acknowledged that these new destinations will not match the commercial volume maintained with Haitian merchants, who are the main buyers of Dominican poultry exports.

The Dominican poultry industry had underestimated the size of the Haitian market, realizing that they consume more than 45 million eggs monthly, which is equivalent to one and a half million eggs daily. This trend has led to the growth of border provinces with producing farms.

The sector has experienced significant growth, with 700 national egg producers and 60% of production coming from advanced technology farms. Quality standards have also improved with around 126,000 breeders in the country.

Dominican producers currently supply 280 million eggs monthly to meet demand in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The poultry industry in Haiti has faced challenges and is highly dependent on the supply of Dominican eggs.

Additionally, the Dominican Republic exports chicken to Haiti, although to a lesser extent, as the Haitian population depends primarily on chicken imports from Brazil.

The border closure for almost a month and a half initially posed challenges, but Dominican authorities have relaxed trade limitations, providing some relief to poultry farmers. Despite the economic losses, the crisis has led the industry to explore other markets, which Polanco considers a positive result.

As for the losses, Polanco estimated them at around 600 million pesos per month if calculated at two pesos per egg. However, there is no exact figure to compensate for the damage caused by border closures.

The government has provided a subsidy of 200 million pesos to the poultry sector due to the closure of borders, with a focus on supporting small and medium-sized producers. The National Price Stabilization Institute (Inespre) has received 25 million units of eggs to sell to the public at affordable prices.

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