Feb. 4, 2015


Anyelo Rodríguez

Dominican Republic

Anyelo Rodríguez

General Director, AGRODOSA

BIO

Born in Manuel Bueno, Anyelo Rodríguez graduated in 1994 from San Ignacio De Loyola, and later went on to obtain his post-graduate Degree in Agriculture and Environment from Alicante University. He then attended Barna Business School to study Management Development. In 2002, he founded his first company, which has become a consortium of companies dedicated to the agricultural sector and the production and import and export of agricultural goods and services. In September 2012, he was appointed the Regional Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, North Region, based in Santiago de los Caballeros.

What is the composition of AGRODOSA's portfolio and what is the average client profile?

AGRODOSA is a joint enterprise involving the Dominican government and the private sector, acting as a private company. The aim of the company is to provide market security by insuring the agricultural and agribusiness sectors. Our company has revalorized itself since President Medina assumed office. Under his administration, a new Law on Agricultural Insurances was passed, setting a legal framework that allowed the agricultural insurance sector to better manage future risk. Moreover, the government has been subsiding the purchase of certain insurance premiums for small producers, as high risks and costs prevail in that sector. This support goes well beyond 25% (in some cases even 50%) of the insurance costs for small producers, who cannot afford it. This support has also enabled producers to have a small reserve set aside in the event of a natural disaster. I also believe it has helped to reduce poverty levels in the rural areas of the country. AGRODOSA has worked closely with the state, in facilitating this payment/subsidy. At the same time, we have particular agreements with all state institutions present in the agricultural industry such as the Banco Agricola, the Institute of Tobacco, and FEDA. We have set up joint efforts to launch new insurance products; health insurance, life insurance, and other related coverage. We are also studying the possibility of insuring agricultural producers against terminal illnesses. AGRODOSA has already established international partnerships in this field and we will soon launch a new product linked to terminal illnesses. We want to further democratize these insurance tools, thus contributing to the reduction of poverty levels in the country.

What is the importance of the Agricultural Policy Program, supported by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, with an investment of more than Ps480 million donated by the European Union towards enhancing regional capacities for small-scale farmers?

The Dominican Republic is a small country in which agricultural reform began in 1982. That marked a turning point in the development of the sector, yet taking into account global technological, chemical, and agricultural developments, the agriculture sector in our country has not kept pace. There are two key requirements for transforming the Dominican agricultural sector; financing and organization, which is contingent on the level of cooperation. This is vital for our country since we have neither the economic resources, nor the level of expertise of many of our competitors in the international market. These developments will be necessary before we can compete on the international stage. This kind of economic support definitely helps to professionalize the activity of many small and medium-sized producers, transforming their activity and boosting market cooperation. These elements will help us to raise both production volumes and quality.

In 2013 the Dominican agricultural sector recorded growth of 16.5% compared to 2012. What factors led to this and what are your expectations for 2014?

Up until 2012, only the elite among the Dominican agricultural sector had access to financial tools, and small producers were completely neglected. The newly-appointed ministers and public officers implemented changes in this regard; they allocated Ps6 billion in 2013 to small producers. These financial tools have transformed the agricultural sector, in part by boosting cooperation between producers. For example, over 30,000 farmers and small producers became part of the production chain thanks to this support. It goes without saying that we also benefited from that. There have been other changes as well; in 2002, there were 400,000 sqm of greenhouses, while the goal is to reach 10 million sqm in the near future. The government has ramped up spending in education, as well.