Posted On 12 Oct 2016
Three experts, in the framework of the world forum organized by the Association of Exporters and the Center for Biotechnology of the Espol make a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) for Daily Expreso on a sector that employs 2.5 million people, including those working directly in the industry and in the 13 other related activities of the national economy.
The quality of Ecuadorian bananas is recognized worldwide: it is less acidic than the majority of fruit sold in the world. By being the leading exporter, all companies in the world buy it. That has made that the Ecuadorian fruit dominates markets such as Russia, and much of the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe market. Another positive aspect is that fewer cycles of spraying against black Sigatoka are made compared to Costa Rica or Colombia, its main competitors.
Ecuador can still grow. In the words of Eduardo Ledesma, president of the AEBE, it is possible to increase productivity by an average of 100 to 200 boxes more per year from now until 2021. That would mean ascending from 300 to 500 million boxes annually. Not every market has been opened, but there are niches in Iran, China, Korea, Turkey, Japan and some other Asian countries that now charge excessive tariffs.
Race 4 of the Panama disease is the greatest threat that looms over the industry and is present in Asia, where it has devastated plantations. “In South Africa, an analysis of plantain and banana varieties was made, and quite promising results and with good levels of resistance, and some not so tolerant have been obtained,” says Freddy Magdama, who has studied the fungus in Ecuador. He suggests keeping an eye on the problem detection models as they “false positives” have been revealed in the country.