Cafetaleros dominicanos en una situación crítica, triste Día del Café

Al celebrarse este jueves 11 de abril, el Día Nacional del Café, la Confederación Cafetalera Dominicana (CONCAFED) advirtió que la producción del café está en retroceso.

Ricardo Lespín, presidente de la entidad, explicó que se ha dado un salto hacia atrás en la caficultura nacional en los últimos ocho años, luego de que en el 2011 se detectara un ataque inusual de la enfermedad conocida como la Roya del Cafeto (Hemileia vastatrix).

Aseguró que a la misma, no se prestó la debida atención y en menos de dos años era una epidemia, que al día de hoy ha diezmado en cerca de un 90% todas las plantaciones tradicionales, arrastrando la producción de cerca de 738 mil quintales de café para el año cafetero 2011/2012, a alrededor de 200 mil en los actuales momentos.

Indicó que hay que aplicar un paquete tecnológico que permita controlar la enfermedad.

Criticó que el Estado eliminara el Consejo Dominicano del Café (CODOCAFE), creando una nueva institución, sin hacer caso a las diferentes recomendaciones de los cafetaleros, y que a casi año y medio de la creación del Instituto Dominicano del Café (INDOCAFE), no se ha estructurado su Junta Directiva en pleno.

Añadió que otro indicio del retroceso, es la cancelación de las acreditaciones internacionales ISO del Ente Costarricense de Acreditación (ECA) de que disfrutaba INDOCAFE.

A continuación un comunicado difundido en el día de hoy: 

La caficultura dominicana retrocede a pasos agigantados

“El que calla es olvidado, Al que se abstiene se le toma la palabra, Quien no avanza retrocede, Quien cesa de crecer comienza a declinar, Quien desiste abdica…” Henry Frederick Amiel (Escritor suizo).

Usamos estas palabras para describir la razón por la cual nos encontramos frente a la prensa y a todo el país, en vísperas del Día Nacional del Café, para dar a conocer el gran salto hacia atrás que ha dado la caficultura nacional, los cafetaleros y nuestras familias en los últimos 8 años.

Para el 2011 se detectó un ataque inusual de la enfermedad conocida como la Roya del Cafeto (Hemileia vastatrix) a la que no se prestó la debida atención y en menos de dos años era una epidemia, que al día de hoy ha diezmado en cerca de un 90% todas las plantaciones tradicionales, arrastrando la producción de cerca de 738 mil quintales de café para el año cafetero 2011/2012, a alrededor de 200 mil en los actuales momentos.

Insistimos, sin éxito, en la necesidad de aplicar un paquete tecnológico que permitiera controlar la enfermedad. De la noche a la mañana pasamos de país exportador a importador para tan solo satisfacer la demanda nacional; eso trajo consigo un abandono masivo de las plantaciones tradicionales, cambio de uso de suelos, cambio de variedades sin hacer las mediciones técnicas para saber si eran aptas o no.

Para colmo de males, enemigos de la caficultura indujeron al Estado a eliminar al Consejo Dominicano del Café (CODOCAFE), creando una nueva institución, sin hacer caso a las diferentes recomendaciones de los cafetaleros organizados en la Confederación Cafetalera Dominicana (CONCAFED), quienes advirtieron del daño que esto causaría al desarrollo institucional logrado, en donde los productores tenían voz y voto.

Al día de hoy, a casi año y medio de la creación del Instituto Dominicano del Café (INDOCAFE), no se ha estructurado su Junta Directiva en pleno, mucho menos reunirse para analizar, plantear, validar y aplicar una política cafetalera consensuada. De manera que no hay un mecanismo de supervisar las acciones que se están llevando a cabo en ese organismo, como lo establece la Ley 246-17 del 5 de diciembre del 2017 que crea al INDOCAFE.

Otro ejemplo que indica que vamos en retroceso, lo representa la reciente cancelación de las acreditaciones internacionales ISO del Ente Costarricense de Acreditación (ECA) de que disfrutaba INDOCAFE, algo que denunciamos en reiteradas ocasiones que ocurriría con el cambio de nombre del CODOCAFE por INDOCAFE.

Si sumamos a todo lo anterior, la ausencia de un programa bien delineado para la recuperación de la caficultura, la duplicidad de acciones de diferentes instituciones del estado y ONG, con plantaciones de café que se caracterizaban antes de la llegada de la enfermedad por la baja productividad debido a la edad de las mismas, y  a causa del poco acceso que tienen los productores al financiamiento y a la tecnología y escaso valor agregado; podemos decir con certeza, que resulta incierto el futuro de la actividad cafetalera, y con ello aumentan los riesgos de migración campesina, mayores riesgos por los efectos del Cambio Climático, desaparición de más fuentes acuíferas, sedimentación de las presas y por ende, escases de agua para el consumo humano, animal y de regadío.

De la actividad cafetalera aun sobreviven alrededor de 30 mil familias según datos preliminares, representa una superficie estimada en 1.6 millones de tareas, contribuyendo a la protección de las zonas de amortiguamiento de las principales cuencas hidrográficas del país, a la conservación de la biodiversidad, control de la erosión de los suelos, infiltración de las aguas de escorrentías, disponibilidad y calidad del agua y belleza paisajística.  Esto va dando paso a otros cultivos de ciclos más cortos, o no adecuados para zonas de montaña, generando conflictos de uso de suelos y la degradación más progresiva de los terrenos antes protegidos por el café y su sombra.

Reiteramos un llamado a un diálogo sincero sobre la situación de la caficultura, de cara al presente y futuro.

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