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Colombia: Plantain production in Quindio down 60%

At the moment, severe heat in Colombia is putting the supply of plantains in Quindio in jeopardy.

Growers report drops in production volumes averaging 60%, and due to the lack of water, they have predicted shortages in November, with the consequent price increases.

Beatriz Arbeláez Gómez, president of the Musa Association of Armenia, Asomuar, said that because of the drought the plants are stressed, clusters have significantly reduced quality and no new plants are there to ensure future production.

"In my case, in October last year, in a period of 15 days I was producing between 1,800 and 2,000 kilos of plantains; today I am obtaining just 600 kilos," she said.

The union leader stressed that the clusters are not reaching the thickness or weight necessary to comply with the quotas agreed with customers.

She noted that the lack of water has been more damaging than the impact of phytosanitary issues, recently registered in Quindio's plantations.

"At the moment, we have no whitefly in Armenia, but some moko outbreaks, although these are adequately controlled to prevent their spread," she said.

Meanwhile, Jairo Giraldo, another member of Asomuar, assured that production on his farm dropped from 600 to 250 kilos in a year.

"My production dropped by 60% because of drought; also, fruit sizes are dramatically smaller. I am not affected by the price situation because we already have an established market through the association with a one-year contract, but the situation is no less worrying," said the grower.

He said he tried to strengthen his plantations with fertilization to prepare against the summer, but it was useless.

"The growth of new plants has also dropped by almost 30%; the situation is only starting, so we believe that, in late November, the impact will be much stronger," he concluded.


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