Colombian banana sector could enter into crisis due to international price

The banana sector could enter into a crisis due to the international price of the fruit. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

The situation of banana industry in the country it begins to get complicated, it is paradoxical that it is one of the most desired products at an international level, but that, despite the increase in its sales from the increase in its exports, the economic margin is not favourable. The businessmen assure that they are not being given a fair price, in addition, that, like many other producers, they are being strongly affected by the inflation in agricultural inputs.

It is necessary to contextualize the situation, during the first semester of the year the main products, non-mining, registered export growth, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, in total 58.7%. Within that group is palm oil, coffee, flowers and bananas.

In fact, it is the fruit that is most exported in Colombia and it is one of the main ones in the commercialization in the international market; the balance was presented days before the departure of the trade minister, Maria Ximena Lombanathis for the change of government:

“There are about 9,900 Colombian companies that in 2021 exported at least one non-mining energy product (agricultural, agro-industrial and industrial) to the different countries of the world. Of that number, 70 percent were micro, small and medium enterprises. However, by value, My SMEs represent about 19 percent”.

There are 6 main destinations for Colombian bananas, Europe is the favorite destination: Belgium, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Poland. In 2021, the latest reported figures, more than 110 thousand tons were exported, registering an approximate value of more than 950 billion dollars.

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Antioquia, Magdalena, Cesar and La Guajira are the main departments of production of this fruit with export quality, in addition, based on the figures provided by the National Administrative Department of Statistics, DANE99% is mobilized through maritime transport.

This is in contrast to what was pointed out by the Association of Banana Growers of Colombia, augursAlthough they highlight the potential of this fruit, becoming the fifth largest exporting nation in the world, with the highest international standards and certifications, the price is not leaving them a good profit margin.

“Unfortunately there has been no price correction, we continue in the international markets with falling prices, as a consequence first of the market’s non-recognition of the effort to produce a banana committed to environmental, social, labor sustainability, and secondly due to accessing the purchase of fruit that does not have the same commitment as ours, and currently has excess supply due to the conflict Russia Y Ukraine”, assured the president of the Augura, Emerson Aguirrein the Republic.

In addition to the constant changes in regulations and legal provisions, the variation in the international price, particularly in the old continent, is what affects them the most, which is why they are trying to request collaboration with government entities, according to the president. of the association, the situation is preventing fair payment to growers and staff in general who work in the production area.

“From the sector we are committed to formal and well-paid employment, our technical, environmental and social processes are essential to produce high-quality fruit and thus sustain the export level,” Emerson Aguirre told Semana.


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