The windstorm that hit the Canary Islands last weekend has caused damage to its banana plantations. Based on preliminary estimates, approximately 4,500 plots may have been affected, which represents around 30% of the total acreage.
The first data collected by the Association of Canary Banana Producer Organisations (ASPROCAN) show that the most affected island has been La Palma, with the most damage registered in the areas of Tijarafe and Barlovento. The area of La Dama, in the island of El Hierro has also been seriously affected. In addition to the damage to banana crops, 25% of La Palma's avocado plantations have also been affected.
In the case of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, although no severe damages have been registered, there have been isolated incidents in the North and West. In El Hierro, the damages are similar to those of northern Tenerife.
The storm has caused banana trees to fall, especially those which had still unharvested bunches. There has also been widespread damage to the aerial part of plants, causing severe defoliation which will delay their normal development.
Canary banana crops are amongst the few in Spain that are protected by collective insurances for 100% of the producers. This insurance covers the damages caused by adverse weather conditions, which are precisely the cause of some of the greatest damage and can put the banana production in jeopardy.
At present, ASPROCAN has asked its partners to report the damages caused by the weather in recent days. To make the process smoother, growers must inform their packager or mediator, and they will also have to report any damage to property, including greenhouses, windbreaks or irrigation installations.