13 October 1998
Hurricane Georges devastates Dominicas agriculture

HURRICANE Georges has dealt a devastating blow to the farmers in the Dominican Republic.

The hurricane, which hit the Caribbean three weeks ago, caused damage estimated at more than $1 billion.

Agricultural exports will be “severely reduced” over the next two years, said government officials.

Crops such as sugar cane, cocoa and tobacco suffered worst, with about 90% of the countrys sugar farms seriously affected by flooding.

Cocoa production was also affected by the storm with about 50% of plants blown over.

As a result, the Dominican Republic is unlikely to achieve its International Cocoa Organisation production estimate of 58,000 tonnes.About half the citrus farms in the main producing areas of the eastern province were destroyed. Rice and coffee farms also suffered extensive damage.

Agriculture accounts for 11% of gross domestic product in the Caribbean state.

  • Financial Times 13/10/98 page 32 (Commodities and Agriculture)