- Higher yields in controlled environments reduce crop pressure on steep slopes, thereby reducing erosion and maintaining surface water quality.
- Proper management in controlled environments decreases pesticide use.
- Diversification into fruit and vegetable crops provide an alternative for coffee growers who currently face unprecedented disease pressure from coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix)
Despite these benefits, greenhouse production in the Jarabacoa region faces numerous critical challenges and an uncertain future. Pests, poor market conditions, and lack of access to credit are current threats. More commonly, however, greenhouse producers listed a lack of training on Best Management Practices (BMPs) as the key barrier to realizing the full potential of greenhouse production. In November 2015, Mr. Reid traveled to the Dominican Republic to assist greenhouse producers in improving their greenhouse use and management. Mr. Reid offered training to over 100 producers and recommended improvements including:
- Develop enterprise budgets for new crops and traditional crops;
- Plant crops at multiple dates to ensure that labor demand is spread evenly across the calendar year and peak yield coincides with peak demand; and
- Increase thrips management by farm operators.