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"Dominican Republic: Bananas turning from "green gold" to headache"

The Northwest region's banana production is being affected by an escalating inflation on agricultural resources, which is increasing production costs and generating huge losses for producers.

The executive director of the Dominican Association of Banana Producers (Adobanano), Máximo Jerez, says that the constant increase in costs has caused a significant loss in productivity; a situation which, combined with the loss of markets, is making banana growing much less appealing than it used to be.

During the last decade, the Northwest region's economy has depended on banana growing and trade, but producers say that the huge increase in costs is causing the activity to be no longer profitable.

Three years ago, the productivity was of three weekly boxes per hectare and currently it is down to 1.8 boxes per hectare. Each box of organic bananas is sold at approximately 9 dollars in the European market.

The agronomist Ricardo Borbón, from the Association of United Banana Growers (Asobano), says that although data for the latest period are still not available, exports have considerably decreased because of oversupply in the European market.

"Dominican producers have been losing ground in the banana market due to the increase in production costs, the spread of the black sigatoka disease and some accidents happening at the product's sea route," explains Borbón, who is also in charge of Asobano's shipments.


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