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Colombia: "Goal is to exceed $1 billion in banana exports within two years"
The banana is one of the country's three flagship agricultural export products, and this sector aims to work hard to improve its productivity.
According to Augura, the country has to improve its productivity, as the Central American banana producing countries and even Ecuador have a production rate of 3,000 boxes of banana per hectare, while Colombia only produces around 2,000 boxes per hectare.
Juan Camilo Restrepo, the president of Augura, said that the goal was to make exports for more than US $1 billion within two years.
Regarding the work with the new Government, Restrepo said: "Private property in Colombia must be guaranteed. This will lead to the generation of investment and the introduction of projects in the field. The banana sector is requesting an improvement in productivity. The land adaptation district of Uraba could become a reality, for more than 70,000 hectares. In Magdalena, we must continue to strengthen the existing irrigation districts and strengthen the intra-property that we are consolidating."
"From the logistic point of view, especially in Uraba, we require a port system; in this case with Puerto Antioquia. We believe that this port and the port system must become a reality in the four years of the President Duque's government. It is a dream of all the people from Antioquia," he added.
"Regarding innovation, science, and technology, we ask the Government to help us, via the Sena and the entities of the Ministry of Agriculture, to be more efficient and effective. For example, Cenibanano, which is the research center for the banana sector, should be strengthened," said Restrepo.
In addition, he said that the sector should continue consolidating the main export markets, which are the European Union and the United States, and that their goal was to have exports for more than US $ 1 billion in the next two years.
Regarding the annual export calendar, he said, "we should sell more fruit and have a greater production in the first semester because of the international market. However, we produced more bananas in the second semester. That generates problems because we should have a big supply when there is a big demand, that is to say, in the first semester and not in the second semester."
Publication date: 8/10/2018
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