Dominican cacao among the world’s best

The organic cacao which comes from the fields near the town Castillo, northeastern Duarte province, has just been recognized as among the entire planet’s best for its particular aroma, texture and flavor. That is the opinion of the world’s most experienced cacao tasters which tested the Dominican cocoa beans as part of an international gathering held recently in Africa. The Dominican Republic’s Agriculture Ministry said the country exported 62,385 metric tons of the “Manna of the Gods” last year with earnings of US$162.3 million, figures which may jump as new recognition boosts demand.

The situation has forged an alliance between the farm and forest research institutes IDIAF and CONIAF, and the company Roig Agro Cacao, which began to develop the project “Quality Characterization of the Castillo Zone’s Cacao” at a cost of nearly RD$2.7 million. The work, the entities affirm, will determine the bean’s distinguishing characteristics. “The general quality of Dominican cacao is being valued in the international markets and is essential to know the different types which present specific flavors and aromas, identifying the property or localities that make it special. This information will contribute to orient buyers and producers will manage to increase their income with a better price for their product,” said project leader Marisol Ventura.

The Dominican Republic’s average annual production is of 50,000 tons on 126,000 hectares, led by the zones Northeast, 61%; East, 13%; Central, 10%; North, 9.5%; and Central, 6.5%, and the plantations are located within 13% of the forests nationwide.

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