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Mexico: Tabasco, targeted by transnational banana producers

According to the Rural Development Coordination of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry Development and Fishing (Sedafop), transnational companies, such as Chiquita Banana, have contacted banana producers in Tabasco to purchase their product and export it to the east coast of the United States.

Ovidio Chable Martínez de Escobar, the head of the area, said that the exporting companies were seeking to establish contracts on up to five thousand hectares. 

In an interview, he said that the black sigatoka, a disease caused by the fungus ascomicete Mycosphaerella fijiensis, had strongly affected banana plantations in Central America, such as in Honduras, El Salvador or Nicaragua. As a result, the companies that used to purchase their bananas from those markets are now looking for new suppliers in other markets to meet demand in the United States. 

He added that the current production of bananas from Tabasco was sent to Europe and Asia, while the one produced in Tapachula, Chiapas, was sent to the West Coast of the United States. 

In this sense, he said, the companies like Chiquita Banana cover the other end of the American Union, which is where they would send Tabasco's new banana production. 

To that end, he said, some 2,000 hectares have already been integrated into this new project and, according to estimates, the five thousand hectares will be reached through contracts and will start being harvested in about 14 months. 

In addition, he said, each hectare of banana generates 1.5 jobs, which would boost employment. 

He also said that producer would be able to acquire credits more quickly with the endorsement of a contract with this kind of companies. 

In this regard, he said that the National Financier of Agricultural, Rural, Forestry and Fisheries Development (FND) had three thousand million pesos for Tabasco this year. 

In addition, he said there were also 2.4 billion pesos available for producers through the Trusts Instituted in Relation to Agriculture (FIRA).

Finally, he said that in 2017 the banana sector in Tabasco had generated revenues of 2.4 billion pesos and that the new plantations could increase revenues by a billion pesos.

Source: Notimex

Publication date: 8/21/2017


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