In 2020, bananas ranked as Colombia's fifth most commercialized non-mining-energy product in international markets, with sales amounting to 905 million dollars. And it is very important in Antioquia's banana axis.
“85% of the banana axis' economy depends on the banana agribusiness. It is the foundation of the economy. 100% of the employment is formal. 95% of the workers in the sector are in unions and there is a lot of labor association. These two factors have allowed us to move away from the unemployment figures that occurred in the pandemic," said Emerson Aguirre, the president of the Association of Banana Growers of Colombia (Augura).
According to official statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture for 2019, the three municipalities with the highest banana production in this region are Carepa, Turbo, and Apartado, which together account for 48% of the total national production; a relevant figure as there are approximately 13 producing municipalities, mainly in Antioquia, Magdalena, and La Guajira.
Carepa achieved the highest production in 2019, with 373,975 tons. It was followed by Turbo with 357,096 tons and Apartado with 344,735 tons.
Together, these three municipalities accounted for 3.8% of Antioquia's GDP in 2019. They were also the municipalities in Antioquia with the highest gross domestic product, with the exception of Medellin and its Metropolitan Area. According to data from the National Administrative Department of Statistics, in 2019 Apartado had a GDP of $ 2.4 billion; it was followed by Turbo with $ 2.3 billion, and by Carepa with $ 1.16 billion.
The Colombian Caribbean is another region that contributes to the banana industry. In 2020, this region exported 34,800 containers of bananas, i.e. 2.5% more than in the previous year. This year the harvest is expected to increase by an additional 200,000 hectares. The biggest banana-producing municipalities in this region are Riohacha, Cienaga, and Zona Bananera, among others.