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A long way from the truth

Panama: Reported losses of 70% of the national production are wrong

According to some Panamanian media outlets, the rainy season caused crop losses of up to 70%. Even though they stated that some of the affected plantations could be recovered, they affirmed that several products, such as melon, tomato, banana, watermelon, papaya, onions, and beans, had been affected by the storm and by fungi and insects that caused the plants to rot.

However, according to other sources, the losses were not so extreme. Jose Anibal Rincon, the Director of the Agribusiness Unit of the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Panama, for example, said he was surprised by this news and assured us that the information was incorrect.

The melon industry, for example, was indeed affected by more rainfall and humidity than expected but the problem was tackled with more aggressive fungal treatments and the production losses were a long way from the 70% losses described by the Latin American press.

Joan Montaño, the head of sales and marketing of APSECU, said he knew some sectors had some losses or declines in production of some fruits due to the cold front and the rains. 

Montaño, who produces watermelon, stated "our team of producers and farmers, which has many years of experience, managed to work the crops successfully. We've had no losses in production since December 2017 to date, so we were able to save the harvests from the devastating effects of the cold front that has affected many producers."

"This season the plants are bearing more fruit than in previous years. We have good expectations for the next season, thanks to the quality of our land and to the tireless work of our great team of producers," he added.

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