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Ecuadorian banana producers say they've reached preliminary agreements with the government

The National Federation of Banana Producers of Ecuador (Fenabe) reported that in their last meeting with the Deputy Minister of Government, Homero Castanier, and several officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), they had agreed to formalize and implement, starting next week, the purchase of bunches for $3 from producers who have from 1 to 20 hectares.

On this point, the producers expect that this Tuesday, the MAG will deliver the documents that enable the creation of a trust that will administer the resources, which according to the Minister of Government, Francisco Jimenez, would amount to nearly $3.5 million.

In addition, there was talk of the immediate suspension of exporters and brands without a contract, the immediate rectification of the reduction of productivity to 40 boxes per hectare, that authorities would carry out inspections and fine illegal crops, the immediate authorization of a one-stop-shop, that organic bananas can't be being sold as conventional bananas, that those crops should be controlled, and the RUC must be linked to the producer's code.

They also addressed other issues with the Ministry of the Interior, such as the emergency declaration of the banana sector, that the Ministry of Finance returns the values collected by fines from illegal sowing to the MAG, the repeal of decrees 1127 and 183, and the rectification of article 3 of the Ministerial Agreement 57 stating the fob cost at $3.3 per box of 22 units and its equivalent to the other types of boxes.

Franklin Torres, president (e) of the Fenabe, said these points were agreed upon with the authorities and hope that they will be implemented as soon as possible.

"We only expect the Government to confirm two of the points that were preliminarily agreed: the purchase of clusters and the declaration of emergency," the leader stated. "We can't sing victory until the things we've accomplished are actually done," he added.



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