The African palm and banana sector has had losses of approximately 240 million lempiras due to floods in the productive sectors of the Sula Valley, according to the president of the Industrial Corporation in that area, Hector Castro.
The banana sector alone has lost some 45 hectares, which translates into an economic impact of one hundred thousand boxes of fruit or six million dollars, stated Hector Castro who added that this was an intensive crop of great value, both in its implementation, and sales abroad.
Meanwhile, the floods affected one thousand 500 hectares of young plantings, one to three year old plants, of the palm sector. "The water covers them and, as they can't breathe because of the water, they die," Castro lamented.
"We've been flooded for a week. Producers can't enter the plantations. We've been unable to harvest a minimum of 20 thousand tons and we'll keep on losing plantations so long as the water levels remain high," he said.
According to the authorities, the banana sector has lost 80 million lempiras, the palm sector another 90 million, and there have been losses for nearly 70 million lempiras in production, which together amount to losses for 240 million lempiras in both sectors.
"Not even Hurricane Mitch in 1998 flooded the sites that are currently under water due to the recent rains," Hector Castro said. He also requested that the government repair the damages on infrastructure and that the banks allow flexible payment plans, refinance, and readjust debts.
According to the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH), bananas are the country's agricultural sector's number one source of foreign exchange, and they are expected to surpass the 509.0 million dollars they achieved in 2016.
Palm ranks second, as in 2016 palm oil exports to the Netherlands, Germany, and El Salvador generated 329.5 million dollars.