Ivan Maldonado, the head of the farmers' union of Zapotillo, an Ecuadorian region bordering Peru, has denounced the illegal entry of Peruvian onions into the country and has demanded that authorities improve controls and strengthen the product marketing systems for the Ecuadorian product.
Producers have been waiting for more than a year for the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the situation. However, the Government still hasn't implemented a system of control of production and price quotas, which has allowed the smuggling of Peruvian onions to continue and this product to be legalized in Ecuador through the irregular presentation of invoices that are issued in other Ecuadorian agricultural areas. This negatively affects farmers and the State, which receives fewer taxes; in addition, there is a flight of capital, Maldonado said.
The leader of the Zapotillo Agricultural Center, Luis Tabara, made a complaint to the Ministry of Agriculture to issue the new regulation to market onions. In addition, he held the Customs Service and the Armed Forces responsible for what he considered weak surveillance systems in border areas.
According to studies by the peasant organization, the smuggling of onions from Peru exceeds 40,000 quintals during the high harvest season, in the middle of the year, which is equivalent to 60% of the national demand.
Zapotillo, an agricultural area that produces about 500,000 quintals of onions per year, loses about 3 million dollars for every dollar that is subtracted from the value of this production.
Source: Efe / teleamazonas.com