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Ecuador: Citrus overproduction will drive prices down
Javier Molina, the owner of the collection center, Citricos Molina, said they only had achieved 30% of the citrus production so far due a delay in its harvest.
There is always a harvest in summer and one in winter, but this delay has joined the winter and summer harvests, which will lead to an overproduction of citrus, he said.
Currently, his business gets some 150 thousand mandarins per day and 50 thousand oranges. These figures in the coming months could multiply tenfold because the harvest is just starting, he said.
He also said that he was paying producers US $3.50 for their oranges so he could sell them at four dollars; and $4 dollars for Mandarins to be able so sell them at $4.50.
Molina said he was worried that the decrease in prices would affect farmers.
"We will have a higher production than we had four years ago and prices will fall and farmers will prefer to lose their fruit on the trees because prices will not compensate them to pay workers," he said.
Luis Lopez, who also engages in the fruit trade, said that this overproduction would affect everybody's pockets, which is why he is selling all he can while the fruit on the trees is still small and green.
He says that the authorities should create policies that defend producers and farmers.
He also said that they lacked plants that processed the citrus and added value to the fruit, which is taken to other countries such as Colombia and the Ecuadorian Sierra, since most of the fruit is lost.
Publication date: 7/18/2017
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