The banana production sector is once again the protagonist of allegations of alleged non-compliance with the minimum support price (MSP) of a box of fruit, which for this year was set at USD 6.50. This time the protests took place in the basement of the Zonal Government building, in the north of Guayaquil.

Dozens of farmers arrived at that place with banners and messages to the authorities from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG). Growers say they are currently getting low fruit prices, $3 and $2, below PMS.

The Ministry announced the adjustment of the form so that only bananas are exported through the contracts

Segundo Solano, president of the Orenses Banana Producers Association (APBO), who was at the protests, criticized that “there is no body that implements the law and the ministerial agreement where the minimum support price for this year is in force”.

“The government is obliged to implement the laws until the last day of its mandate and cannot leave the productive sectors and society unprotected, and if they are not able to step down and come people who have principles and want to work for the good of the country,” emphasized Solano, who is also the vice president of the Ecuadorian banana federation (Fenabe).

Solano did not rule out reaching an indefinite strike in the banana sector if the sector’s demands are not heeded. “At the moment we are meeting with producers from Guayas, El Oro, Los Ríos, Cotopaxi and Esmeraldas, we are finalizing some resolutions to plan this de facto measure,” the presenter said.

These requests come a day after MAG announced changes to Form 150 to prevent fruit exported to international markets leaving without signed contracts. The issue of export under contract, the only modality provided for in the current Banana Law; and those that come out through the modality stainsthat is, at the market price and without a contract, they will face producers and exporters from the end of 2022.

Banana producers prefer to chop their fruit rather than sell it at low prices

For his part, Franklin Torres, president of Fenabe, in a letter addressed to the President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, recalled that on April 22 of last year, then government minister Francisco Jiménez signed an 18-point agreement with banana producers, none of which, according to the leader, fulfilled.

In this regard, Nikola Mora, undersecretary of the MAG for the strengthening of Musaceae, assures that the ministry has already provided a solution for the vast majority of the demands of the production sector in April 2022. “So much so that today we are designing a new computer system that will replace the current one… it is also important to point out that the MAG itself condemned the irregularities in front of the institutions and they are in the Prosecutor’s Office,” the official said, among other things.

Meanwhile, regarding the alleged payment of $3 per box of bananas, Mora assured that they have no complaints in this regard.