Colombian banana industry notched growth in 2018 despite weather issues
The Colombian banana industry closed 2018 with a production of a little over 100 million boxes, marking nearly 3% year-on-year growth despite some weather-related challenges.
Industry association Augura, whose members represent 78% of the total volume, said the country's crop was equivalent in value to US$859 million.
Bananas remain Colombia's third-largest agricultural export after coffee and flowers.
"2018 was a complex year for Colombian agricultural exports, but the banana sector grew by 2.52% compared to 2017," said Juan Camilo Restrepo Gómez.
"The year was influenced by climatological factors like the El Niño Phenomenon and the high amount of wind in the production areas, which reduced fruit production during some months of the year."
He added in 2019 it will be fundamental to advance on the implementation of a country-wide label or a denomination of origin to help grow in markets and open new destinations.
In late December Augura warned producers to prepare for a dry spell expected to last over the first few months of this year.