Nicaragua could quadruple banana production

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Nicaragua could quadruple banana production

A project from Nicaragua's Grupo Coen aims to increase the country's banana production by 300% with plantations in the department of Chinandega, website reported. banana_59586463 small

The story reported Nicaragua currently produced two million boxes of the fruit annually - one of the lowest levels in Central America - but that figure would rise to eight million with the help of 1,500 hectares of new plantings.

He said the first exports were expected on Feb. 8, 2014 at the latest, with the new initiative set to generate 7,000 jobs.

"They will be permanent jobs throughout the year, with higher wages than those paid by any agricultural branch in the country, and working in the shade," founder Piero Coen Montealegre was quoted as saying.

The executive said banana plantations were much more profitable than sugar cane farms.

"The difference (between the two crops) is the same as that between playing baseball in Nicaragua and in the big leagues - the banana is more profitable. The investment is much higher but the profit is much higher.

According to the country's Center for Export Processes, Cetrex, Nicaragua exported 9,300 metric tons (MT) of bananas last year with a value of US$2.5 million.

Project expert Julio Lainfiesta, the bananas planted would come from Costa Rica, adding that while the national yield per hectare was 2,600 boxes, Grupo Coen expected a yield of 4,000-5,000 boxes per hectare.


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