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"Peru: "Bananas are being lost, as they are not being sold at a reasonable price"

The president of the Regional Banana Technical Committee, Miguel Vargas Cometivos, said that currently a good part of the fruit production from Aguaytía is being lost because it isn't being sold at a reasonable price that would allow them to take back the market from producers from other areas.

He expressed this in a meeting held with farmer authorities of the Aguaytía Banana Producers Central (CUAPPA), a guild that, since Sunday, is on an indefinite strike due to the decrease in banana prices due to an overproduction of this fruit.

Vargas Cometivos said that before, when a thousand bananas were sold at 280 soles *, 28-30 weekly trucks of bellaco bananas left Aguaytía and were bound for the markets of Lima. It was a time when the valley was one of the few who produced this variety of the fruit.

He explained Aguaytía is no longer the exclusive area were the bellaco banana is being produced, as this variety is currently being cultivated in other areas such as Palcazu, Puerto Súngaro, Curimaná, San Alejandro and the High Huallaga. Thus, the producers from Aguaytía have lost the privilege that being the sole producers of this variety entailed. 

Despite this new reality, he said, a few months ago the CUAPPA went on strike and managed to get paid 350 soles per a thousand bananas by commission agents and brokers, a price that wasn't very realistic or sustainable as other areas were selling it at 250 soles.

He said that this was the reason why wholesalers preferred to buy from areas where they were sold for 250 soles, and why Aguaytía wasn't able to sell approximately 12 trucks of bananas per week; bananas that aren't entering the markets of Lima and are rotting at the farms.

"That's the overproduction everybody is talking about, we're not able to sell 12 trucks per week, farmers from other areas of the forest are taking this opportunity, while our product rots in our plots and we are losing money," he said.

* 1 sol: $ 0.36 dollars

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