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Ecuador's plantain oversupply takes a toll on prices

The excess production of plantain in the Ecuadorian province of Guayas is taking its toll on its commercialization. Plantain producers, even those that have this crop associated with others, are receiving very low prices for the fruit that, in many cases, is being abandoned in the plantations.

Ney Chavez, a producer from Jujan, as well as producers from other municipalities in the province, such as those of Simon Bolivar, Chilintomo, Babahoyo or Vinces, have opted to leave the product in the farms. He refuses to receive $ 0.75 per cluster and up to $ 1.25 for three clusters that the marketers offer him.

This price crisis has led to the formation of a working association  between producers, the Ministry of Agriculture, exporters, commercial houses, Agrocalidad, the academy, and unions. “We are working in a union with experienced and technical people to create a training school and achieve the certifications required by the international market,” said Maria Auxiliadora Rodriguez, the president of the Association of Plantain Producers (Asoexpla).

60% of the plantain that is exported goes to the American market, but the southern cone has opened up, Chile is becoming stronger. Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and England stand out in Europe.

"The law has dragged us into this"
According to Asoexpla, to export, it is necessary to pack with adequate facilities, know the origin of the plants that are sown, how they were planted, if they have irrigation, if they are fertilized, if they put covers on the clusters and ribbons to know their ages.

The official support price of a box of plantains for export stands at $7.31. However, “it is being paid at a lower price now; we are trying to reach the producers so that they have a greater benefit, ”stated Maria Auxiliadora Rodriguez, the president of Asoexpla. Small Ecuadorian producers deliver the fruit to marketers because it is easier for them; "He doesn't present invoices because he doesn't have them."

“Unfortunately we are under the Banana Law; they dragged us there and we shouldn't be there because it is such an informal sector that the ministry has not registered it,” she added.



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