After 21 years of validity, the Banana Law returns to the legislative arena. But, because of the declarations of the banana assembly members, the reforms maintain what the exporters consider obsolete: the ban on new plantings and a single official price.
The Association of Export and Marketing of Bananas (Acorbanec) suggests the need that under the discretion of the Government it is allowed to plant new hectares, since from the existence of that prohibition, Guatemala planted 50,000 hectares, Panama grew to 45,000 and Colombia aspires to other 5,000.
In relation to the price, Richard Salazar, head of Acorbanec, says that there is a spot market that obeys the new world reality, with countries where a different price per box is paid, according to the need of the moment. The spot or off-contract price, which is now illegal, reached $ 17 this year. And nobody protested.
He adds that the assembly members seek to avoid new plantings so that there is more speculation. “Today, one hectare costs between 40,000 and 50,000 dollars,” which prevents interested investors in France and Japan from investing.” On the other hand, what happens if Race 4 of the disease in Panama arrives at some point and those crops have to be replaced in other areas? Where will it be sown if there is a ban?
Patricio Mendoza, producer of the province of Los Ríos, president of the subcommittee of the Food Sovereignty Board, points out that there is a key point in the expansion of banana growing areas, “because there is a risk that the market of export of fruit, internationally. “
Carlos Falquez, representative of the province of El Oro, former mayor of Machala and also has a banana farm, said that the banana crop exceeds 180,000 hectares, “situation that could generate an oversupply of this product.” A census is indispensable for the sector by the Ministry of Agriculture to know the projections of production and demand.” Ten years ago there were 129,000 hectares.
The Food Sovereignty Board analyzed the report prepared by the subcommittee on the draft Law Amending the Law that Regulates the Production and Marketing of Banana, Banana and other Musa related to export.
During the meeting, comments were presented to the project of reforms in technical and production aspects by the members of the Commission headed by Ricardo Zambrano, who requested that it be reformulated to generate a final report of consensus, which will be presented to the Plenary Assembly. National.
Battle for prices
Acorbanec wants at least 30% of the exported boxes to be under the spot modality (without contracts), because it “adjusts to the reality of the market”.
Many producers (including the largest ones), when the spot price is above the official price, do not comply with the contracts and sell it freely to whoever pays them the most. Banana legislators want to keep the official, which is constantly violated. (I)