Bolivia: Banana and pineapple production grows but markets lack

The growing production of bananas and pineapples in the tropics, coupled with the lack of programming, has revealed the lack of markets to accommodate the production of alternative crops to the coca leaf.

"Things are not going well. There is a lot of fruit production but no program to cultivate. Everybody grows the products at the same time and sells less. Our sales have fallen by 50 percent in 2017," said Juan Ramirez, a producer of pineapples.

Given these difficulties, Ramirez said, the production is mainly destined to the domestic market. However, some producers in the area send 30 percent of their production to the Argentine market.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Association of Producers of Bananas and Citrus (Asprobaci), Miguel Flores, said that the 95 producing families affiliated to their sector in the municipality of Shinahota lacked the resources to improve the conditions of their crops.

"We have lowered the volume of our production due to a logistical, organizational issue, caused by a lack of state support. In this case, there must be state assistance in any productive instance. There is much to be done, "Flores said.

The leader said that farming families needed to invest in an irrigation system, as bananas demand a large amount of water.

It is estimated that each family producing bananas in the tropics has an average of three to five hectares. Asprobaci allocates 70 percent of its production to the markets of Argentina and Peru, while the remaining 30 percent is distributed in Bolivia.


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