The banana, poultry, community, and transport sectors reached a last-minute agreement to unblock the roads in the department of Arauca, which has allowed the banana producing sector to move 4,000 tons of bananas, which were at risk of being lost due to the roadblocks, to the supply centers of central and eastern Colombia.
The secretary of Agriculture of the department, Alexander Botia, said the agreement had been reached after several days of dialogues between the parties, which concluded with the unblocking of La Soberanía route, which connects the large producing areas with Bucaramanga and Bogota. "The sector was at risk of losing more than 1,500 million pesos due to this strike," the Secretary of Agriculture of Arauca stated.
He said that unemployment and the pandemic hit banana production in this area of the country, which has 40,000 hectares of bananas. "Before the pandemic, Arauca produced 940,000 tons of bananas a year. Last year, there was a notable decrease in demand at the national level, which affected the fruit's marketing levels and its profitability," Botia said.
"We have maintained constant communication with the national government about the blockades and difficulties that the banana-growing union is facing." He also said that they also had constant communication with the strike committee in Arauca to achieve an agreement that would allow the loaded trucks to pass.
"The strike and roadblocks took place as Arauca's banana production was undergoing its most important peak," Botia stated. "The producers can hardly stand the pressure of having their fruit trapped in the roadblocks. We trust the situation will stabilize," Botia stated, adding that work was being done to restore the fuel supply in the department.