According to the Orenses Banana Growers Association, which brings together small and medium producers in the province, the El Niño phenomenon could cause the loss of up to 50,000 hectares of banana plantations. However, exporter union Acorbanec claims this is an exaggeration.
The executive director of Banana Marketing and Exporters Association (Acorbanec), Richard Salazar, described the forecast as an exaggeration: “Let them show the studies they used for that estimate. In the winter, only 1,500 hectares of bananas were lost.” For the president of Acorbanec, at this moment it is not possible to calculate future losses due to El Niño. “You have to work on prevention measures, start dredging the rivers, do maintenance on the drains.”
According to Acorbanec, the average price per box of bananas paid to producers in El Oro between the first week of January and the last week of June 2023 was USD 6.68. In the last week of June 2023, the price was at USD 3.35, but in January 2023, the price was above USD 12 and in February around USD 9.