Yesterday, an industry official stated that Colombia hopes to boost its banana exports by 10% this year. This would bring in $1 billion in income for the world’s fifth-largest producer of the fruit.
Emerson Aguirre, president of the Colombian Banana Growers Association, stated that, despite the pandemic and the presence of the fusarium R4T banana fungus, Colombia exported 109 million 20-kilogram boxes of bananas last year, up 9.3% from 2019, boosting earnings by 6.5% to $916.2 million.
“Although the banana industry was blighted by these two pandemics, our figures were positive versus 2019,” Aguirre told Reuters, adding that the export target for 2021 was 120 million 20-kg boxes. Higher output followed greater productivity per hectare versus 2019, as well as better weather in the first half of the year in Uraba, Colombia’s principle banana-growing region.
Bananas are the third most-important agricultural export in Colombia, behind coffee and flowers.