Low prices and a fungus alert Costa Rica’s banana industry

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San José, Nov 6 (EFE) .- The low prices that supermarkets are offering in Europe and the presence in South America of the tropical fusarium fungus race 4 are the great alerts facing the banana industry in Costa Rica.

This was stated by the general manager of the National Banana Corporation (Corbana), Jorge Sauma, who highlighted the importance that a block of Latin American countries made up of Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, has established in recent days a joint position to demand fair prices for the fruit.

“Some supermarkets want to make maximum profits, which we do not object to, but they have put prices down in times of crisis and we hope this will be reconsidered,” Sauma said.

The businessman criticized this position of the supermarkets, as he considers that the Costa Rican product has a high added value, since all the farms in the country have environmental certifications, use 100% recycled plastic and have reduced the use of water in the plants by 60%. .

“This position is very tough at such crucial moments, because for our Latin American countries it is an extremely important, strategic activity in terms of income and job creation in places where there are no other sources. We do not object that supermarkets have a better margin, but it is not respectable that they want to punish the price of bananas, which is the best fruit, “he said.

Sauma affirmed that the final consumer in countries such as Europeans will not resent that the price of fruit from countries such as Costa Rica that produces under environmental standards increases a little.

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About the tropical race 4 fusarium fungus (TR4), Sauma commented that it is a threat to the entire continent, since it has been detected in Colombia and Peru.

Sauma said that in Costa Rica, producers have been working together with the State Phytosanitary Service to apply prevention measures, especially at border posts, in order to prevent the fungus from entering the country.

However, the sector is already taking additional measures in case the fungus enters, such as an agreement between Corbana and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa).

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