According to estimates from the Association of Independent Banana Producers of the Sula Valley, the sector needs to invest nearly 40 million dollars to recuperate from the damage caused by tropical storms Eta and Iota in the country's plantations and ensure the next fruit harvest, which would be released on the market in the first half of 2022.
This investment would be used to repair the soils of the producing farms, repair damaged roads, remove the harvest from the affected communities, and install irrigation systems, stated the president of the agricultural organization, Hector Castro.
The situation is complex and action must be taken immediately to guarantee the next harvest, as the fruit is sold in the international market in the first half of the year, he said.
Castro also highlighted that this sector generated a large number of jobs in the country. There are 4,000 jobs at risk at the moment, but this figure could increase if there is no investment in the sector, he said.
Bananas boosted the value of exports in 2020
Honduran agricultural product exports up until October of 2020, a month before the passage of Eta and Iota, totaled 756.4 million dollars, i.e. 90.3 million (13.6%) more than the value registered during the same period of 2019.
This dynamism is mainly explained by the 89.1 million dollar increase in banana exports, which was due to the 25.5% increase in the weighted-average international price that partially offset the 1.3% decrease in the volume exported.
In the first ten months of 2020, banana exports left 462.5 million dollars in foreign currency.