Every June 1st is celebrated world milk day. Although it is a date established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recognize the importance of this product as a world food, when it comes to economics, its input is only as high as its nutritive values.
The processing industry of food from the Dominican Republic in 2022 was valued at US$4.3 billion, according to data from the Agriculture department of the United States (United States Department of Agriculture – USDA).
Only activities categorized as “food industry”presented figures for an additional US$1.1 billion for beverage processing and other products during the same period.
In this sense, milk production reached 839,670,345 liters Last year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, and according to the international organization, the retail value of dairy products for consumption sold in the half-island in 2022 totaled approximately US$336 million.
Despite the above figures, the Dominican Republicduring the last five years, imported an annual average of 22% of the milk and cream (powdered milk) from the United States, with an annual average value of $27 million.
The European Union constitutes an even larger market in the share of this product, representing an annual average of 59% of the total Dominican importsnotes the USDA.
In 2022, imports of consumer goods registered significant growth, and in this sense, milk of all kinds (68.8%) mainly stands out, indicates a report from the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD).
“Some 800 million liters of milk They are produced in the Dominican Republic every year, which translates into 2.3 million liters of milk daily, distributed among 48,000 producers,” said Eric Rivero, president of the Dominican Association of Milk Producers (Aproleche), to local media in 2022. .
As highlighted by the international organization, in recent years, dairy processing has expanded its capacity, focusing on cheese, non-perishable milk and yogurt.
In fact, from the USDA, they point out that more than 50% of the liquid milk in the country it is processed into cheese and less than 5% into yogurt. They detail that most of these cheeses are produced by more than 400 small installations rural.
When it comes to economic figures, the retail value of cheese sold in the Dominican Republic in 2022 is estimated at $122 million. That sector grew nearly 10% compared to 2021, fueled by demand for milk and non-perishable milk alternatives.
However, at a general level, according to the BCRD, a decrease in the production levels of pigs (-3.9%) and raw milk (-0.1%) “was verified” last year.
This variation was due to the increase in international prices inputs, such as fertilizers for growing pastures and concentrates used to feed cattle.
The state (local) body also details that the group with the greatest contribution to the YoY inflation in 2022 it was food and non-alcoholic beverages by varying 11.19%, mainly due to price increases of different products such as liquid milk (9.90%).
Likewise, in general, the production of dairy products presented an interannual growth of 3.0%, driven to a great extent by the increase in the production of pasteurized milk (9.8%) and powdered milk (5.5%); However, from the BCRD they assure that the decrease in the production of evaporated milk (-5.7%) and other dairy products (-0.1%), moderated the result of the activity.
Milk, by province
As detailed in a guide from the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana) in the agricultural sector, the seibo It is an essentially agricultural province, the main activities being the production of bovine cattle (both milk and meat) and the planting of the sugar cane. It is characterized by having large tracts of land as cattle herds.
Hato Mayor It also has a “livestock wealth that is worth mentioning”, with a predominance of cattle for use dairy and meat. In fact, from ProDominicana they assure that this province is the fourth producer of milk at the national level. “The province Hato Mayor It has a meat and dairy cattle sector, so it has opportunities in the development of the cheese agro-industry”, they point out.
For his part, Puerto Plata and La Romana They enter this section for their cattle, both milk and meat. It is also worth highlighting the area of Sánchez and El Catey where there is a livestock sector with close to 360,000 tasks and a breeding of over 10,000 head of cattle with a production of more than 3,000 liters of milk.
San Juan, which is recognized as one of the most important agricultural areas in the country, stands out in terms of livestock for its cattle, goats and sheep, especially dairy cattle.