Strawberry cultivation is one of the most important productions in the Tisaleo Canton, which is located in the Ecuadorian province of Tungurahua. Farmers and producers in the region are worried about the drop in strawberry prices, as the value of a box of strawberries in the Ambato Wholesale market collapsed from 26 to 16 dollars or less, i.e. by up to 10 dollars in the last month.
According to local farmers, such as Maria Yugla, due to this issue, many producers are thinking about sowing other types of products. “I normally go out to sell my products every Sunday and Wednesday, but in recent days we've almost had to give away our product because nobody wants to pay more than 20 dollars,” she stated. In addition to the lack of profitability, strawberry is a very delicate product so farmers have to make great efforts to maintain their production.
Edison Chango, district director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) in Tungurahua, said that five years ago the only places in Ecuador that grew strawberries were the provinces of Pichincha and Tungurahua. Nowadays, however, more provinces are growing this product, which has led to an overproduction of strawberries and a drop in prices.
To stop this from continuing, the Director of the MAG said, province's farmers are constantly being trained on crop rotation methods and on the implementation of smaller animal farms. Chango said that they planned to train more than 400 people by the end of the year.