17,000 employed at Ministry of Agriculture in DR – 1,500 in Chile

The Ministry of Agriculture in the Dominican Republic has 17,000 employees on the payroll. In contrast, Chile has 1,500.

A report in Hoy quotes criticism by Osmar Benitez, executive director of the Agribusiness Council (JAD) who says that while Chile exports US$10 billion a year in farm products, the Dominican Republic barely exports US$800 million.

{FILE IMAGE – PEELED MANGOES} “…Chile exports US$10 billion a year in farm products, the Dominican Republic barely exports US$800 million…” – Osmar Benitez, executive director of Santo Domingo’s Agribusiness Council

Benitez criticized the fact that there are 39 deputy ministers in the DR, a great many of who don’t even have a desk they can call their own. Benitez said that a study by the IDB says that of the 70% of the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture 70% goes towards wages, while just 30% is invested in the sector.

He said that the Ministry agronomists do not visit the farms, but rather the people who serve the farms are employees of agrochemical companies that offer their products.

Benitez called for the new government that takes office on 16 August 2012 to do “what has never been done,” repeating President-elect Danilo Medina’s campaign slogan. Benitez called for an organizational restructuring of the sector to prevent duplication of efforts and spending of the present non-productive and bloated bureaucracy.

“Do you think that the Tobacco Institute should have more than 1,000 employees and Inespre 3,000 employees?” he asks, as reported in Hoy.

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