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EU phytosanitary restrictions worry agricultural exporters in Honduras

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras (SAG) stated that the EU had restricted the import of 13 products, especially of oriental vegetables and even some coffee shipments, since the new phytosanitary regulation of the European Union, which entered into force on December 14, 2019, includes strict rules to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and diseases in Europe.

The head of the SAG, Mauricio Guevara, confirmed restrictions for cundeamor, chive, and hairy cucumber, among other products that generate millions of dollars in foreign exchange and jobs in the country's rural area.

This announcement has generated concern among Honduran agricultural exporters because the trade surplus in favor of Honduras with the EU is getting smaller year after year.

Until the end of 2019, Honduras achieved a positive result of US $ 223 million with Europe; an amount that is smaller than the 234.5 million dollars obtained in the previous year, mainly due to the fall in coffee exports to Belgium and Germany.

According to the official agency of the Republic of Honduras, ProHonduras, in Comayagua alone, there are approximately 4,183 hectares of land with eggplant, cundeamor, bangaña, hairy cucumbers, okra, chives, chive, and fuzzy squash crops, among others, from where an average of 3,500 containers per year are exported.

Meanwhile, some 9,000 containers with agricultural products are exported from the southern zone, including oriental vegetables, colored peppers, cucumber, sweet potatoes, and malanga. It is estimated that nearly 1,046 hectares are being used for these types of crops, generating an average of 2,500 to 3,000 jobs.

The Central Bank of Honduras (BCH) stated that vegetable exports in 2019 generated $ 111.2 million, i.e. $ 11.5 million dollars more than in the previous year, derived from the rise in both prices and volume.

Additionally, the export of processed fruits and vegetables left revenues of 76.6 million dollars.

The first oriental vegetable crops in Honduras were carried out in the Comayagua Valley in 1991. Since then, the area planted and the appearance of new exporting companies has been increasing.



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