chapter  2
16 Pages

Agricultural Development, the Economic Crisis, and Rural Women in the Dominican Republic

WithBelkis Mones, Lydia Grant

This chapter attempts to evaluate how the agrarian development policies have affected Dominican rural women. It argues that although a wide variety of agrarian development strategies—mostly welfare-style social programs and to a lesser degree small-scale production-oriented programs—were implemented by the three governments in power during the period, no administration promulgated explicit policies toward rural women. The chapter analyzes the development of capitalism in Dominican agriculture, review the effects of the economic crisis, and outline some general features of the past decade's agrarian development policies. Agriculture—primarily sugar cane, coffee, cacao, and tobacco production—has been the primary source of capital accumulation in the Dominican agro-export model since capitalist development first began in the late nineteenth century. Under the Trujillo dictatorship, the agricultural sector was oriented toward the internal market and provided wage goods and raw materials for the embryonic 1950s import substitution process.