The Dominican Republic’s pineapple harvest has been delayed by what was described as the “largest rainfall event ever” with the tropical storm that hit and caused flooding on the island two weeks ago (17-19 November, 2023). According to producers and exporters the storm caused at least a week of delays in harvesting and exports.
The Dominican Republic's Civil Defense helping to rescue people from flooded communities. Photo: Defensa Civil Dominicana
Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic called the torrential storms the “largest rainfall event ever” in the country's history. At least 21 people have died with over 13,000 people displaced in the storm that hit the small island nation. It lead to widespread flooding and landslides in the capital city and surrounding areas. In the capital of Santo Domingo nine people died after a wall collapsed on them while travelling in their cars.
According to Melissa Hernandez, a manager at the producer and exporter Transna Trading in the Dominican Republic, “the fields have been affected by the rains, but we did not have major losses, the only thing is that it delayed the harvest a little.”
Kisha Rodriguez Then, from the pineapple producer Caralinda Agroindustrial, “We are fine, the rains did not affect our production directly in the area of Sanchez Ramirez, which is one of the largest areas of pineapple production in the country. We hope that all the problems caused by the storm will be solved. In the fields of the Dominican Republic we have a saying that ‘La lluvia paga sus daños con creces’, which means that although the water causes damage when they happen, over time the benefits of them are greater than their damage.”
While exports of pineapples have in the meantime resumed the country is busy with rebuilding efforts. The neighbouring country of Haiti was also hit by the same tropical storm that caused damage as well as in Jamaica.