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Ecuador: Bill to regulate production and commercialization of bananas is ready

The National Assembly's report for the first debate of the bill that regulates the production and commercialization of bananas, plantain, and other related Musaceae, adjusting the procedures and requirements to improve the commercial exchange and business of the banana sector, is ready.

The project, which has 63 articles distributed in 10 titles, was the initiative of Assemblyman Patricio Mendoza, who is now a candidate for prefect of Los Ríos (CREO-FE). It establishes the creation of negotiating tables for the setting of minimum support prices and the minimum reference frame price on board; legislates on the bonds, their mechanisms, scope and payment method. It also regulates the way in which the payments for the fruit should be made and imposes sanctions on those who violate the rules.

The regulation establishes that the verification of the fruit's quality will only be performed once at the producer's farm, and that the marketer or exporter will be responsible for this; therefore, it can not be subject to a new verification at the port of embarkation or consolidation yards.

Once the fruit has been received to the satisfaction of the marketer or exporter, on the farm, he will be unable to claim poor quality of the product received.

In addition it determines that the values resulting from the expense incurred in the evaluation of the quality of the fruit, and in the stowage, will be assumed in their entirety, and in a mandatory manner, by the marketers or exporters; a disposition that, according to the now ex-legislator Patricio Mendoza, will greatly help small producers who used to have more expenses to evaluate the fruit produced on their farm.

The proposed law, which will become known to the plenary, prohibits the planting of new hectares of banana, but states that new hectares can be planted only in case of national interest, duly substantiated by the Presidency of the Republic and approved by the National Assembly.

This prohibition doesn't apply for plantain, orito, organic bananas and other related musaceae. Those who violate this norm will pay a fine equal to 50 unified basic salaries per hectare planted and they won't be able to export the fruits they harvest, as it can only be allocated for internal consumption.

The draft Law implements a negotiation table for banana, plantain, orito and other musaceae; the first consisting of thirteen people, including the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; and the second table, consisting of 17 members.


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