Rice is the main staple food crop in the Dominican Republic (DR). Although 45% of the rice farmers hold less than 4 ha, rice plays a significant role in food security and provision of employments. However, the process of trade liberalisation given by the Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States of America free trade agreement (DR–CAFTA) questions the viability of Dominican rice farming. Besides, the US rice farmers have larger farms, better access to technology and credit and higher yield compared to those in the DR. This calls for sound management strategies and policies to overcome some of the forthcoming effects of the DR–CAFTA on the Dominican rice farming. Thus, this study identifies and evaluates the Dominican rice farmers' agronomic and economic strategies on this FTA. The analysis used cross–sectional survey data collected from 93 rice farmers in Monte Cristi province. The results indicate that to reduce rice–production costs, self–financing, and expanding farmland size were the main agronomic strategies. While land levelling, buying certified seeds, and increasing yield were the main economic strategies. The evaluation of these strategies revealed that fertilizer, machinery service costs and paid interest on operating capital were key components to reduce rice–production costs. Further, results indicate increasing returns to scale for rice farmers. To undertake such strategies, the transformation of farmers' association to a cooperative is a promising strategy from farmers' side.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2012|