Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Cocoa is one of the commodities with great tradition and consumption around the world. The cocoa industry produces billions of dollars at the global level and contributes significantly to the employment of thousands of people in the countries that have acquired relevant consumption habits as well as in developing countries that produce cocoa. The Dominican Republic has been blessed and belongs to the latter group. It is the top ninth producing country worldwide and the second of the Americas. The DR has been exporting over 50,000 metric tons of cocoa per year for the past twelve years, which is destined to be used as raw material for industries in other countries. This has generated foreign exchange with a value of US$ 156,000,000 per year for the Dominican economy. In order for cocoa to reach the consumer of products like desserts, dressings, beauty products, etc., it has to go through several stages of the production process. The primary production of cocoa is just the beginning of this process, where the exports supply chain has its origin. There is not a very diverse cocoa consumption within the Dominican Republic. The local industry has been left behind, and it is characterized by the production of mostly chocolate tablets for the preparation of beverages. However the purpose of this study is not to determine what causes local consumption of cocoa to be so low in the Dominican Republic. More than 50% of the cocoa producers in the Dominican Republic have an average family income that is lower than US $2.00, which locates them below the line of poverty according by international organisms. The harvesting of cocoa is extremely important for the preservation and conservation of the environment in the Dominican Republic thanks to the forest cover and the water that originate from the plantations. This is why, although much has been done for the improvement of the industry over the past decades, it is still a necessity that the major stakeholders bring more assistance and investments to contribute to the development of the industry as a way of assuring the steady preservation of the island. The local supply chain in the Dominican Republic is composed of three major agents: producers, exporters, and industrials. These are responsible for the employment of thousands of workers that work either directly or indirectly with the main marketers of the cocoa beans. The Dominican cocoa industry pays no attention to the final cocoa product since it has specialized mostly in exporting raw beans. This means that it has been lacking the most important stage of the supply chain which is the industrialization and final marketing.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kennedy, Philip Lynn