Citrus exports from Honduras have fallen by 7% as a result of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Honduran businessman René Bendaña, one of the main problems that the agribusiness sector has faced during the pandemic is the collapse of the market, as they no longer have access to all the different points of sale. In addition, he said, the decrease in the population's purchasing power is having a tremendous impact on this sector.
During this period, citrus prices increased because of the public's perception that vitamin C (present in citrus fruits) could contribute to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. However, according to Bendaña, despite the rise in sale prices, the export volume wasn't good enough for producers to sustain their plantations. No matter how good the citrus fruits are, if there isn't an established market to sell them, producers will be forced to throw away the fruit, he said.
Bendaña added that the losses also stem from the constant climate changes that affect citrus plantations. "The producers that don't have irrigation systems, production techniques, and a good fertilization mechanism will be unable to counteract the impact of climate change, which has resulted in a 40% reduction in our productive capacity," the businessman said.