The Minister of Agriculture, Javier Ponce, said recenlty that there are plans to eliminate the taxes being paid exclusively by the banana industry; 0.7% of the FOB value of each banana box.
This tax was initially assigned to Corpecuador and since 2009 it is collected by the Ministry of Agriculture; institution which, according to banana growers, has raised more than $21 million on this account.
"Together with the Central Bank and the Inland Revenue Service, we are in the process of eliminating that tax which has entirely lost its significance," he pointed out.
Regarding the drop in exports during the first semester of the year, the vice-minister Luis Valverde stated that there was a lower production during that period due to the weather, which prevented bunches from reaching good sizes.
Ponce also informed about the elimination of the 9 dollar payment for every 1,000 banana boxes inspected by the phytosanitary authorities at packing houses, storage centres or ports.
The Minister explained that this was one of the banana sector's requests to the president, Rafael Correa, through a letter posted last May; a law that came into force last month. This tariff was collected by the Agricultural Quality Assurance Agency (Agrocalidad).
"We have already sorted out the elimination of those $9 in taxes collected by Agrocalidad; that is already solved," assured he in a press statement in Guayaquil.
For Giovanny Coronel, president of the Association of Small Producers of Guabo, it is a positive decision, as it prevents a decrease of added value in an activity which already offers a very low profitability.