Ecuadorian president signs banana regulation decree

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Ecuadorian president signs banana regulation decree

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has signed a decree for a new banana trade regulation law that will prohibit marketing fruit from unauthorized areas, newspaper El Comercio reported.

The changes will come into affect after publication in the government's Official Registry, under the 'Law to Stimulate and Control the Production, Trade of Bananas, Plantains, Barraganetes and other Musaceae'.

The story reported that unlike previous legislation, the changes would allow for new banana plantations after analysis in less developed parts of the country. On the other hand, farmers with plantations in unauthorized areas would be prohibited from trading the fruit.

The regulation states banana producers need to update their information with the Ministry of Agriculture every five years, while exporters must register every three years, the story reported. If they fail to do so, exporters will lose their right to trade the fruit.

In a government release, Coordinating Minister for Production Nathalie Celi highlighted the benefits of banana export taxes that went towards competitivity improvement programs.

"The idea is that the resources we collect are converted into a type of investment amount, with clear indicators, responsibilities, management and even the oversight of those small producers who are most in need, so they can comply and equate their profitability," Celi said.

"This portfolio has already defined a competitive plan for bananas that comprises of three areas: genetics, technology and logistics research."

Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishing Staynley Vera Prieto, said banana exports generated around US$14 milion in taxes during 2010-11, which were available to small and medium producers through the Public Security Act.

"Not because we are small farmers do we have the right to be inefficient," he said.

Photo: Emilio Sanchez, Presidencia de la Republica del Ecuador

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