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Mexico: Banana activity in San Rafael is halted

The commercialization of bananas in the municipality of San Rafael was stopped on Monday morning when banana producers decided to take over the trade centers to demand they be paid a fair price for their product, as the prices they're being offered affect the producers and the regional economy.

According to Leonardo Nava Pazos, a member of the Local Agricultural Association and a producer, "the ideal price for us would be two pesos, but we can't ask so much because there are states in the Pacific that are selling over two pesos, so we accept a peso and 50 cents. That way people can have some spare change."

Not only did they stop the commercialization of the fruit, they also didn't allow anyone to load bananas until they are paid the price they are demanding, so the people who want the fruit now will have to buy it according to what the producers demand at the time and in cash.

Banana prices are low, mainly because of the agreements between marketers, better known as coyotes. The price depends on five people who control said agreements, which affect the economy of the banana producers. Currently they are being paid 30 to 40 cents for their product, which doesn't generate a profit for them, and which is why they are asking to be paid at least 50 cents.

"We already took this measure and we'll be here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... and if possible until we reach an agreement. They market the fruit in Mexico, and even when they sell it very expensively, they offer us very low prices," said Sotero Lagunes, a producer from El Pital.

They also said that after the passage of the hurricanes last year, many producers had to get loans to recover their productions, which has been made difficult by the low prices paid by coyotes.


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