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Argentina: Banana imports to be determined by quotas
After the 'bananazo' protest in Plaza de Mayo, and several solidarity activities in the Formosa province, where 60,000 kilos of fruit was given away, banana producers in Jujuy, Salta and Formosa considered carrying out demonstrations in border areas as a protest over the absence of favorable responses to the chacareros' claim.
The bulk of the banana harvest begins in a few days in Salta and Jujuy, while in Formosa the harvest is in its final stage. Formosan banana producers describe this year as the worst of the last 10 seasons. We estimate that in the Province of Formosa the losses exceed 60% when taking into account climatic phenomena, such as excess rainfall and frost, lack of commercialization and low prices.
The Argentine Agrarian Federation's Laguna Naineck Subsidiary and the Association of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables of Salta and Jujuy, after a meeting held the previous week in Laguna Naineck, demanded that foreign bananas, entering the country during the national harvest season, should be subjected to quotas. Argentina must import only the necessary fruit, subject to the national supply.
They also asked that a minimum reference price be set and that health status in the NOA and NEA region be standardized so that imported bananas transit through this region with sealed thermal trucks. In that same sense, they recommended that the packaging for the federal transfer of the national banana be unified using disposable wood and/or carton containers with a maximum capacity of 22 kilos of fruit.
On the other hand, the banana producers of the three jurisdictions demanded that Argentinian banana production be declared in emergency, taking into account the current situation of local production. At the FAA meeting with Buryaile last week the Minister's response was that the solution to the banana problem is to work through the cooperative, work through Family Agriculture, the anticipated 8 million pesos of the fondagro and some 15 to 20 sheds of packing or chill.
For the leaders of the three banana provinces, the Minister's reaction is disproportionate, because he reaffirms his lack of knowledge of the real problem or, in short, he does not have the will to solve it.
Publication date: 9/1/2017
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