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Bolivia: Banana producers lost $1 million due to the blockades

The 48-hour road blockade by the residents of Gran Chaco, who were protesting for the redistribution of royalties, directly harmed banana producers as product losses amounted to $1 million, said the vice president of the Federation of Private Entrepreneurs of the Tropic, Marcelo Gomez

"The fruit had begun to mature and would be too ripe when it reached its final market, which leads to a decrease in prices that would affect  following purchases," he said.

According to Gomez, after the blockades on Monday and Tuesday, there were some obstructions still left on the road, at the height of Gran Chaco. Two heavy transport vehicles that were heading to Argentina loaded with bananas suffered an accident, leaving one person dead and all the cargo lost.

The president of the Banana Community Organization of the Tropic of Cochabamba (Oncobatrop), Agustin Conde, asked the national and departmental authorities to guarantee the free transit of perishable food.

Gomez said that the banana sector recorded losses every year due to the constant devaluation of Argentina's currency. "We are in the peak production period, and we believe there might be another blockade at the end of the year. So we demand solutions to these problems," he said.

The representative of the Banana Union (Uniban), Andy Choque, said his sector lost a lot of money due to the different blockages this year, but that they found the loss of a human life unacceptable.

He threatened to initiate legal action against the people who left the obstacles on the road where the accidents were recorded. "Once a human life is lost, it can't be recovered," he added.



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