The situation of orange producers in the Caluma County, in the province of Bolivar, is critical. The unexpected growing production, an estimated 30%, has caused plummeting price be between $ 1.50 and $ 2.
In the peaceful community San Pablo de Pita, farmers are happy to see the good orange harvest this year; However, with regards to prices, the countenance changes radically. “Last year a bush yielded between 150 and 200 oranges, today it yields 400, 500, even 700 oranges. It is an excellent production, but prices (per 100) have hit rock bottom and that worries us,” said Gonzalo Sánchez, president of the 14 de Julio Association.
Because of this situation, farmers can not raise the salary of farm workers. “We pay $ 12 until noon, and if it’s until 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m., we pay them $ 7 or $ 8 more.” (I)