Banana emergency measures now underway in Ecuador
The Ecuadorian government has delivered on its emergency decree promises with a new banana purchasing scheme in the provinces of Guayas and El Oro, with growers in the latter receiving fumigants to tackle disease Black Sigatoka.
The purchasing scheme is designed to ensure growers don't receive prices below the set price of US$5.50 per carton, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) selling the bananas on to exporters.
The Guayas transactions took place with fruit from the towns of Simón Bolívar, Milagro and El Triunfo, with court orders for the purchases issued by hectareage, establishing grower names, identification numbers, farm names, registration numbers and the land registered with the country's Banana Unit.
El Triunfo-based Nueva Esperanza Agricultural Growers Association coordinator Ángel Santos Macías, said his association included 30 growers with the capacity to provide 20,000 bunches in the first week.
"It's more favorable to sell to this institution [MAGAP] than to sell at low prices," he said.
In El Oro the first bunches sold to MAGAP came from the areas of Pasaje, Machala, Arenillas, Santa Rosa and La Victoria. Provincial agricultural director Jorge Chamaidán said the bananas would be sold both for human consumption and to support the livestock industry.
Rafael Barriga, whose farm "La Armijos" was one of the first to sell its bananas under the scheme, said he was happy with the measures.
"I think it's a good choice made by the government to help small growers who cannot take out the fruit," he said.
MAGAP also announced it had delivered 13 different fumigant inputs to growers in El Oro, including Serenade, Hachero, Ecolife, emulsifier EZ-Mix and Calcium Silicate.