Different groups, including banana producers, participated in the blockade of several highways in the provinces of Guayas, Los Rios, and El Oro on Wednesday, August 11, as they had announced they would, within the framework of the national strike organized by different groups in the country.
Banana farmers blocked the E25 road near the San Juan de Puebloviejo rural parish, and the Quevedo-Valencia road (Los Rios province), as well as other roads in the rural area of Guayas, with numerous bunches of bananas.
The banana growers demand that the payment of the minimum support price (PMS) for the fruit box be respected and that the Government repeal the decree that raises fuel prices.
"The current prices don't allow us to fertilize and spray the crops. As a result, our production decreases," stated Lourdes Cedeño, a banana producer. "We want an increase in the price of bananas and if they don't take us into account we will close the roads again," another producer stated.
More than a thousand bunches of bananas weighing approximately 30 to 35 tons were left in the streets of the rural area of Guayas, causing extensive traffic jams.
"The route will not be enabled until a representative of the Government comes to dialogue with us and there is a commitment regarding the respect of the minimum support price," stated Franklin Torres, a banana leader, to the newspaper El Universo.
So far, the Government has not issued any response to these requests.