Paraguayan banana exports generated a total of 19.3 million dollars in 2021, i.e. 23.7% more than the 15.6 million dollars reached in 2020, according to data from the Single Window of Export (VUE) of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC).
"We had already seen this record coming, due to the high existing demand and the good work that producers have been doing to improve production and quality with the support of technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG),” stated the producer and exporter Hugo Franco. 95% of the exported fruit was destined for the Argentine market, while the remaining 5% was sent to Uruguay.
"The private sector made a lot of effort to improve banana production because the Argentine consumer wants quality, the same quality as the Ecuadorian banana, and that is what they had to focus on," he said. Producers still need to implement more technologies, such as irrigation systems, to further improve production at the local level, he added.
Franco said the banana plantations withstood weather ravages better than soybeans and other items, but that they were also suffering and that production could be affected if there are no significant rains in mid-February.
Paraguay's banana production area is concentrated in Tembiaporã, Guayaibí, the department of San Pedro, and Cordillera, where there has been an increase in recent times.
The National Intersectoral Table for Banana Competitiveness (Menicob) projects the banana export revenues will increase by 30% over 2021 this year since the price of bananas remains high, but everything will depend on the level of production.
Paving the banana route in Tembiaporã
Franco also reiterated the sector's request to the government authorities to expedite the completion of the 32-kilometer asphalt paving in the section of Nueva Toledo, Tembiaporã, known as the banana route, so the sector no longer has difficulties transporting the product. "Having this route would allow the banana to reach its destination with fewer hits, maintain its quality, and increase production. We're asking authorities to listen to us,” he said.