Water in Guatemala, as in much of the world, is a scarce resource during the summer months, while in winter, rains often cause flooding.
That's why One Banana, a large banana producer and marketer, has decided to implement strategies to help alleviate this situation, investing in the creation of 18 water reservoirs, with which they collect about 400 million gallons of water to irrigate during the summer months. It is also resorting to new irrigation strategies for its plantations.
Javier Aguirre, Corporate Director of the company One Banana, told us that in 2008 they invested in a technology known as TDR, which "is used to measure the degree of moisture in the soil by means of an electromagnetic pulse, thus avoiding irrigating too much or too little. In 2015, we started using fixed probes that constantly send this information to engineers, so it becomes much easier to plan an irrigation schedule."
"We have also changed the way we irrigate, so that instead of watering at the height of the leaves, we water by micro-sprinkling directly on the plant's stem. This has helped us reduce application times by 33% and to increase the production by 7%. In addition to that, we have also reduced the use of fuel by our engines by 30%, allowing us to become more competitive," says Javier.
This way of producing significantly helps the company to continue growing, since in addition to the economic benefits, it also helps gain the support of the community, which sees the social commitment of One Banana when it comes to water use with good eyes.
Aguirre also wished to say that El Niño tends to affect them, and that they expect it to do so this year. "This year, there is a possibility of Guatemala suffering the impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon, but together with the Climate Change Institute, we have set up last generation weather probes with which we will try to be prepared"
One Banana is a Guatemalan company devoted to the production and export of bananas since the 70's. It has some 10 thousand hectares of plantations in Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador. Its exports are intended for the United States and Europe, where organic bananas are particularly appreciated. This is a market niche in which they decided to enter in 2015, implementing organic production in the region of Piura, in Peru.