For about six weeks, the supermarkets of the Walmart de la Florida chain , on the east coast of the United States, have been selling bananas grown in the province of Santa Elena.
The production is part of the first exportable crops that leave Musatec. This firm has banana plantations of the MP1 variety, which has a larger bunch, with more fingers than the barraganete.
This is a variety that is associated with a faster ripening. Angelo Caputi Icaza, manager of Musatec, maintains that in this regard they have broken paradigms, since the production that they have exported to the United States reaches that destination green.
The company started its project in the Peninsula in October 2019, where it owns 300 hectares, of which 90 are planted.
Shipments have been made gradually through an exporter they work with. Caputi Icaza affirms that they have been exporting around 90 pallets and in the coming weeks they aspire to increase shipments.
He says they are working to improve production levels. One of the factors they had to struggle with last year was the cold that was registered in the Peninsula and that affects delays in calibrations.
Caputi Icaza points out that a disadvantage of the peninsular land is that it does not have many nutrients as in other areas, but the fact that there are not many rains can be a favorable factor to avoid the presence of fungi.
“So far we have more than a year in the Peninsula and we have not made applications against sigatoka,” says the agricultural businessman.
The varieties of plantain grown in Ecuador are the barraganete, hartón, curare enano, dominico, maqueño, MP1 and the Hawaiian banana. These differ by size. Barraganete is the most popular variety in the industrial and export market, according to data from the Banana Exporters Association.
The main destinations for Ecuador’s banana exports are the United States, the European Union, Chile, Colombia, among other countries.
Banana is a source of potassium, magnesium and phosphate. Potassium is good for the heart, it prevents hypertension and heart attacks. In addition, the high content of vitamins A, B6 and C helps maintain vision and helps to strengthen the immune system, as promoted by the export union.
Musatec has plans to venture into organic bananas, which are prevalent in the Peninsula. In that province, according to the Ministry of Agriculture , there are more than 1,900 hectares of bananas, the majority destined for organic bananas.
So far, Caputi asserts that they have tested this crop with a view to starting production. (I)