The president of the National Banana Board (JNB), Valentin Ruiz Delgado, said that this year's national production of organic bananas would be 10% smaller in volume than the production of 2019 as a result of the restrictions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the mismanagement of water resources.
Ruiz Delgado said that, due to the drop in production, Peruvian producers had been unable to comply with 100% of the contracts they had abroad, which implies a risk for Peru's good image as a producing country.
The president of the JNB said that they expected a better harvest in 2021, but that it could be affected by the decrease in the distribution of water from the Poechos dam (Piura), which is forecast to fall by 15%. "This will mainly bring problems to the lower part, known as the 'canal tail', which has already been affected. In some sectors the plants have not been watered for more than 100 days, which has brought losses for farmers," he said.
We need the support of the State, as is the case in other producing countries, he said. "Peru was a leading exporter of organic bananas, but competition from Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador has increased. Buyers continue to prefer Peruvian bananas for their texture and flavor, but the country isn't producing enough volume," he stressed.
In addition, he said, the sector is affected by the high logistics operation costs of the port of Paita, which are more expensive than that of Callao. Ruiz Delgado said that the FOB price of a box of bananas in the Piuran port stood at 12.45 dollars and that producers only received 5.30 to 5.50 dollars per box, which barely allowed them to recover their investment, but not to obtain benefits.
He said the banana sector required subsidies or indirect support, such as an increase in drawback, from 3 to 8%, to compensate for the high logistics operation costs of the port of Paita.