Ecuador banana production drops up to 40% due to cold weather
Banana growers in Ecuador say that cold weather has reduced the size and yield of the fruit, according to El Universo of Guayaquil.
Growers say that production has diminished 30% to 40% in the last two months. Exporters are offering them between US $1.40 and $1.70 per carton, when the official price is $5.40 per carton, further complicating the situation, the news website said.
In El Oro in the southwest, where banana production is centered, the temperature has reached an average of 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
This has caused a delay in the development of the fruit, according to Paúl González, president of the Agriculture Center of Machala, which brings together banana growers in the area.
González said that the reduction in production volume is obvious. “The fruit is delayed and does not have good quality,” he is quoted as saying. He added that the cold causes “stress” to the plant.
Segundo Solano, banana manager of the city of El Guabo, said the cold keeps the fruit from gaining suitable thickness, and therefore growers have to wait longer to harvest. “It’s been two weeks since I have processed bananas. Now I’m waiting to process those that can be harvested,” he is quoted as saying.
Photo: El Universo