Ecuador wants to produce and export more mangoes

On Wednesday, Ecuador's government formalized a plan to increase production and position new local and international markets for mango.

The Ministries of Trade and Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (Magap), together with associations of producers of fruit signed the Plan for the Competitive Improvement of the Mango Chain, which, according to Juan Francisco Ballen, undersecretary of Foreign Policy, aims at doubling mango production and exports until 2020.

This program is based on five strategies: pest control, improving productivity and quality, promoting and diversifying access to international markets, developing domestic demand, and strengthening the institutional framework of the supply chain by creating an advisory council with the participation of all public and private stakeholders in the sector, said Alexander Kaiser, coordinator of Export Policy of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Ecuador's current mango production area amounts to 5,200 hectares which produces about 13 million cases per year. The United States is the country's main destination, as the country ships 85% of their mango exports there.

Ballen said that, thanks to the government's negotiations, Ecuador had signed a health protocol with China that would allow them to start exporting mangoes to that Asian market this year and thereby diversify destinations.

Kaiser explained that this plan was part of the government's program for the promotion of public-private partnerships for productive development.

Roberto Villalva, director of Magap, said that pest control would be carried out through the socialization of the National Program to Manage Flies and through controls to prevent the entry of smuggled fruits. They will also identify and incorporate into the production chain the crops that are currently abandoned and that are the main source of transmission of fly pests.

To promote the consumption of fruit at the local and international levels, the government will provide training, organize business conferences and fruit festivals, where the parties involved in the mango chain will be able to offer their fruits and industrial products with the support of the commercial offices of Pro Ecuador.

Ballen said mango sales had increased significantly in the last five years, as they went from 17.8 million dollars in 2010 to 37.5 million in 2015.

He added that they expected a 30% growth this year but that, due to the climate problems related to El Niño, production wouldn't increase that much. However, he confirmed that the improvement plan aimed at doubling production by 2020.

Sergio Cedeño, president of Ecuador's Mango Foundation, thanked the Government for its support to improve production by controlling pests and opening new markets.

Meanwhile, Marco Leon, a small producer from the Chota Valley in the Andean province of Imbabura, requested the support of authorities and large retail chain stores nationwide so that he could market the production of some 80 hectares in this area where, thanks to the mild climate, the fruit grows throughout the whole year.


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