Unusual climate variations, from cold to hot, rains in summer and pests ruin tomato, watermelon and melon crops in the coast, long before winter arrives. What nobody thought would happen happens: the peninsula of Santa Elena and the Guayas province have become marginal producers. Chimborazo and Cotopaxi are now, for example, the largest providers of tomato.
“In five years the peninsula of Santa Elena has dropped its production by 80 percent,” told to Daily Expreso Mario Lapo, vegetable expert, professor and adviser to farmers in several provinces.
Tomatoes, along with onions and peppers are the most demanded group of vegetables among Ecuadorians, because of their daily use in food preparation.
The attack of pests such as negrita, and the rains that cause a massive outbreak of fungi and the climate change causes are the causes why every day farmers have fewer job options. Watermelon, estimates the expert, has cut its production by 30 to 40%, which have an impact on the price.