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Mexico: Chiapas banana exports are in danger due to lack of dredging

Chiapas might not be able to export its banana production to the United States and Europe because no dredging work has been carried out in the Port of Chiapas for the past year, which could prevent ships and cruises from entering the port.

Eduardo Altuzar Lopez, the President of the Agricultural Association of Producers of Plantain of Soconusco (AAPS), said the ships could currently enter and leave the port when the tide was high, but that they can't stand still as this problem gets worse.

"I am not an expert in logistics, but I am affected by this issue. It would be terrible if Chiquita left because of a depth issue, or the bulk ships or cruises stop entering the port because our port wasn't functional," he said.

The region of Soconusco, Chiapas, exports 250 thousand tons of bananas worldwide.

The producers fear that they the ships won't be able to enter the port which would affect their production. According to the businessman, 350 containers of bananas are shipped out through the Port of Chiapas every week. This affects 15,000 hectares of banana and about 500 producers Altuzar Lopez stressed. Furthermore, this would also affect corn, soybeans, sugarcane, and coconut producers in the region. "It affects all the region because the agricultural economic spill gives sustenance to the city."

At a press conference, the businessman said there was a dredged property owned by the Navy Secretariat of Mexico, but that federal authorities must authorize its use, because "there haven't been any funds for dredging for a year."

He also said they needed the help of the state to carry out the dredging, "the government of Chiapas made the commitment to manage this work, so we hope it will be done, otherwise our operation could be lost." In addition, they requested that the Port of Chiapas be expanded, to be more competitive, while achieving a greater efficiency in loading and unloading containers.


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