According to Carol Chejab, the undersecretary of Marketing at Magap, since producers and exporters were unable to reach an agreement to set the new price of bananas, that will apply starting January 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture will set them.
Eduardo Ledesma, the executive director of the Association of Banana Exporters (AEBE), said that increasing its price to $6.55, as some producer unions were asking, would be a big mistake because Ecuador would lose competitiveness against other countries that have lower prices. According to Ledesma, AEBE's proposal is to maintain the current price of $6.16 and to give producers that have less than 30 hectares a $0.07 bonus.
Meanwhile, Gustavo Marun, the president of the Regional Banana Corporation (AGROBAN) said that, after analyzing the situation at its general assembly, Agroban had proposed increasing the price to $6.32.
He also stated that AEBE's proposal of giving a bonus to small farmers would confuse buyers because there would be two prices for Ecuadorian bananas, as 80% of the country's producers are small producers.
Producers with less than 30 hectares need other kinds of support, such as financial credit and technical assistance to help them increase their productivity, he said.