The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has forecast that there will be a strong growth in the global trade of tropical fruits due to the increased demand for produce such as mangoes and avocados, which would benefit Latin America and the Caribbean, their main exporters.
The FAO expects that the world production and trade of the main tropical fruits (mangoes, pineapples, avocados and papayas) will increase due to higher incomes and the change in consumer preferences in many markets.
"Improvements in international transport links and freight technology will also boost growth," according to a report released in Santiago, where FAO has its regional headquarters.
However, the organization warned about "the effects of climate change and extreme and highly damaging climatic conditions, which threaten the production potential of the region, particularly in the Caribbean," where small states are vulnerable to the destruction generated by tropical storms.
Another of the threats pointed out by the agency is the increase in pests and diseases that affect plants, especially in banana and pineapple production systems.
25% of the world production of bananas and tropical fruits have their origin in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an average annual production of about 54 million tons.
Exports of bananas and other tropical fruits in the region amounted to around US $ 11 billion in the period 2016-2018, with bananas and avocados leading the list.
The FAO also said that for the growth of trade to affect development, it will be necessary to work on the fair inclusion of small producers and on the generation of equal wage levels for the employees of these industries.