Alvaro Noboa developed a conversation among selected newspapers, radios, and TV channels, where he informed about the future of the Ecuadorian Banana Industry. He warned the country, and overall the State, that control measures must be taken regarding the banana crate price.
Noboa indicated that if for three months the producers receive a payment below the official price, these irregularities would affect the country causing unemployment for thousands of Ecuadorians. The provinces that will be affected the most are: El Oro, Los Ríos, and El Guayas.
We share the video where Alvaro Noboa informs the country about this issue.
Today I want to speak mainly on banana problem and I want to address the three provinces most affected by the banana problem, which are the province of El Oro, Los Rios and Guayas.
There is a problem which is exactly like cancer if you do not cut it in time, it will kill the banana industry, which is not paying the official price. Since I’m a numbers man, I will explain what this means as clearly but in numbers.
A banana producer reaches as maximum gain of $ 0.50 per box, that is $ 3.50 per box in 7 weeks. Nowadays, banana producers receive $ 2 per box – by those exporters who break the law – the profit if they had it at peak gain of 7 weeks, they will lost it in a week. Because instead of receiving $ 5.5 when they receive $ 2, they are losing $ 3.50, it took him 7 weeks to earn it if he used to win $ 0.50 per box.
So it means that he comes to lose in two weeks what he has earned in 14 weeks. And peak gain comes to last 14 weeks, the high maximum this year will have lasted between 14 and 18 weeks. With two or three weeks, all that he won in peak time is returned, and from then on, he will begin to lose $ 3.50 per box. With that, he cannot fertilize, with that he cannot pay fungicides, he is unable to pay in advance the income tax. With that he cannot pay on time to his employees, he can neither do agricultural work nor reap maximum packing.
What happens then? As a estate receives no fertilizer, receives no fungicide against sigatoka attacks, when they stop farming, any producer knows that in about 2 to 3 months, or in 12 weeks, that estate will be attacked by the sigatoka. The estate will be affected by lack of fertilizer, and it have very low yields due to lack of agricultural labor and serious problems of production and quality. Therefore, this estate is headed for death or on the way to close its operations.
In the banana industry is well over one million Ecuadorians, most people belong to El Oro and Los Rios provinces who is working to support themselves and their families. They depend on this business, so we cannot wait 15 weeks, because if we wait 15 weeks of a crisis like this, the banana producer will lose his entire investment. And more, to give round numbers the one that produces 2,000 boxes per hectare will have lost $ 100,000 in 15 weeks, in 30 weeks he will have lost $ 200,000. And he will continue to lose so that he will simply stop his operations.
I think it will not go over 15 weeks in a situation like this to cause unemployment of more than one million Ecuadorians, because after that he stopped fertilizing, stopped doing agricultural work, stopped using fungicides against sigatoka , stopped paying employees, the next thing is to liquidate it’s up to employees, if you have to settlements. He will stop paying social insurance, will cease to pay the advance income tax. He will have to tell employees to withdraw because he will have no money to pay the role.
It’s that aggravate the problem, and is more severe because the producer last year also had a large loss. There was a low last year that lasted 35 or 40 weeks. What did they do? Borrowed, they went to the banks and sold all their belongings. Today they have no longer things to sell.
Since 2005, banana exporting companies have gone from obstacle to obstacle, so much so that the actions of Chiquita, Dole, and many other companies are at their lowest levels. That shows a lack confidence in the world banana business. This is resolved by requiring from authorities to exporters prior to an inspection, that those who are not paying the official price must be required to pay it by the government, the Head of State, the Minister of Agriculture. And all of Ecuador knows that most are not paying the official price, but the producer is afraid that if he reports a exporter, he will have no quota.
The Ministry of Agriculture claims that it is very difficult to prove it, so I said no problem visit all exporters, and checked all of them. We are confident that BONITA is paying the official price and therefore we have a clear conscience. And me as candidate for the presidency of the Republic must defend the banana producer and the Ecuadorian people because families will lose their jobs; because the banana industry is the largest employer in Ecuador.
That must be a collaborative effort on the part of producers to wake up and say that if there is a failure to pay the official price, the fruit cannot be shipped. It cannot be one single voice, it has to come from thousands of banana farmers, a reaction made according to law. They go to the Ministry of Agriculture, I have heard from banana producer’s chambers and associations, and have been told they are not paying the official price. I’ve heard they’ve go to the Ministry of Agriculture and they’ve been told from banana exporters and associations that the official price is not being paid. We are confident that NICE is paying the official price and therefore have a clear conscience. And I run for the presidency of the Republic must defend the banana producer and the Ecuadorian people because families will lose their jobs. Because the banana industry is the largest employer in Ecuador.
If this is not immediately done it will occur as cancer; if a patient is not treated, he will die. If he does it 15 weeks, this will be broken. This will force them to pay the official price, they will no longer have checkbook to pay and their estates will be foreclosed by banks. I make a special call on all authorities to take immediate action. Being Ecuador, the world’s largest producer, it has caused a global crisis of price. If here instead of paying $ 5.50 is paid $ 2, the buyer tells the exporter: “If I can get it for $ 2, why should I pay $ 5.50 for it?”. So fair pay for sinners, the ones that pay the official price receive punishment.
That is terrible for the exporter, but it’s terrible for the thousands of producers who have no money to pay their workers, their sprayers, social security, payment, transport, etc.
It is very serious and I now declare myself in favor of banana producer, in favor of banana workers, to stay employed, I plead to campaign producer not to lose his farm, I declare on behalf of Ecuador to continue being the first exporter in the world.