Ecuador: Banana producers support the port use agreement

Paul Gonzalez, the president of the Agricultural Center of Machala, said they didn't care who achieved the agreement, but that they were happy with the benefit that freezing the gate to ship rate at 15 cents, which is the transfer of the fruit from the trucks to the ship, will have for the banana sector.

This reaction came after the president of the Association of Exporters of Bananas of Ecuador (AEBE), Eduardo Ledesma, stated through his Twitter account that they had met with the manager of Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar (APPB), David Mejía, to address rate issues.

"The only thing they have stated is that the gate to ship palletized and bulk tariff will stand at 0.15 cents", but they haven't said anything about the remaining 69 rates, which is why he requested the Agreement to be signed next Friday between Yilport, Ministry of Transport and Public Works and, APPB be socialized.

"This work has been done and, according to David Mejia, the rate for bulk will be 15 cents while the rest of the fees or services that exist in the port for banana will be the same as Contecon (Concession of the Container Terminals) charges in Guayaquil," said Gonzalez.

Maintaining the 15-cent rate, he said, was an achievement of the producing sector and some exporters of El Oro who came together to present the proposal, which was endorsed by President Lenin Moreno, so that the banana sector wouldn't lose competitiveness and to avoid hindering foreign investment.

"We are in the National Union of Ecuador, which brings together a large number of legally constituted unions, and we work 52 weeks of the year, marketing and exporting our fruit. Not like those newspapers or demagogic unions, that only misinform people," he said.

More than eight thousand banana producers in the country, more than three thousand of which are from El Oro, also celebrate that the Government has given way to the creation of the Undersecretary of Bananas, which will be make its operations official in the coming days.

The producers, who so far haven't suggested who should head the Undersecretariat, have said they expect it to be a technical professional who knows about the banana activity.

Ecuador produces around 6 million boxes of bananas per week (approximately 80 million boxes per year), 1.5 million boxes of which are from El Oro, generating an annual economic contribution of 670 million dollars.


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