Bananas are the country’s first non-oil export product, and thousands of people make a living from it. Thus, the government has set a price for the box of bananas.
The official price is $ 6.26. The aim is for producers to ensure profitability throughout the year and for exporters not to suffer any harm. However, in low demand season, prices plummet.
The United States, Europe, and Russia are the largest buyers between January and May when the biggest harvest occurs in Ecuador. According to the president of Agroban Gustavo Marum, is a stroke of luck and is the reason why the country is the first exporter in the world.
A couple of months ago the value of the fruit was at the lowest market price; it did not exceed $ 2, which caused losses to farmers. To avoid such damage, the Government ordered that in December, when the high banana season begins, the exporters sign an annual contract, which will insure the purchase price.
At present, exporters who have not signed contracts buy the box at $ 3.40. But the problem is that the small farmers do not sell directly, they do it through an intermediary, who takes part of the profit.
Marum said that the market should regulate the price and that producers should earn more in the high season and put a cap on the off-season, but prices should be reasonable. Farmers report that exporters charge at the official price, but it is not what they receive.
On this point, the leader of the Association of Exporters of Bananas of Ecuador (AEBE) Eduardo Ledesma recommended that exporters who refuse to comply with the rules set should be sanctioned. (I)