The banana production sector has again organized a sit-in on the ground floor of the Zonal Government building, in the north of Guayaquil, after the last one held on May 22, less than a week and a half ago. In addition to bananas and cartels, small and medium-sized producers reiterated demands that the minimum support price for fruit be respected at $6.50 per box.

One of the leaders leading the protest was Segundo Solano, president of the Orenses Banana Growers Association (ABO) and who is also vice president of the National Federation of Banana Growers (Fenabe).

The leader emphasized that the producers did not come to present more proposals, but to get answers to what they have been doing for more than a year, especially to the commitments they took after the technical round tables held with the then minister of government, Francisco Jimenez.

How was the code used, allegedly, to export boxes of bananas without going through the banana control system? Musáceas’ undersecretary and minister Eduardo Izaguirre explains this

“There is no more approach, we want answers to all the points that we have already presented before the Ministry of Agriculture, before all the ministers, before the Minister of the Government. I think there is enough time for them to declare a solution to the problem that worries us,” said Solano, who nevertheless added a new request from the sector: the immediate cancellation of code F, through which, allegedly, thousands of boxes of bananas were exported without appearing in the control system banana of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), according to what the Minister Eduardo Izaguirre and the Undersecretary of Musáceas, Nikcola Mora, admitted last Tuesday.

“We want a direct statement, because they already know what the problem is, where the boxes are leaking from and that they are with fake codes; and that allows farmers to pay a price of $2, $1.5 or $3,” Solano demanded.

Izaguirre and Mora acknowledged the existence of the code F or FAS modality of sale, who explained that it is a legal figure included in the current Banana Law that export companies use for the internal banana market, but that, however, it would probably abuse the code by removing banana boxes without of passing through the MAG system.

For his part, Izaguirre pointed out that the F code does not exist in the MAG system, but in that of the National Customs Service of Ecuador (Senae).

Based in Guayaquil, the banana growers insist on getting only $2 or $3 per box of bananas

This was rejected by the export sector. Richard Salazar, executive director of the Ecuadorian Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec), stated that the FAS modality is legal and that these transactions must be pre-approved by the MAG.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Nikcola Mora assured on Tuesday that MAG and Senaa technicians are holding meetings to definitively control the alleged irregularities of the F code, which has four export companies being investigated for allegedly falsifying shipping instructions.

Meanwhile, the official witnessed the headquarters this Thursday and received a delegation of producers led by Segundo Solano.