Los Tiempos reports:
PENDING A STUDY TO DETERMINE IF THE BOLIVIAN BANANA IS ELIGIBLE
Banana producers are working on new markets in border cities with Brazil
For over a month ago a private consultant manages the opening of new markets in four to five border cities in Brazil on behalf of the Union of Banana Producers Associations (Unabana).
The general manager of the company Befrut SRL, Roger Mérida, said banana exporters ARE seeking to expand their markets given that exports to Argentina, the natural market of Bolivian bananas, have been reduced over the last three years ago due to restrictions imposed in that country. [so much goes for the “alleged” brotherhood between current Bolivian president with the Argentinian President… the former spending a million dollars to place an statue in Buenos Aires and does zero to help the banana exporters?!]
Mérida noted that 95 percent of banana exports are going to Argentina, the 2 percent to Uruguay, another 2 percent Peru and to Chile 1 percent.
He explained that Brazil is a producer of bananas, but for reasons of distance does not cater to the border cities with Bolivia, including Rondonia or Corumbá, similar to what happens in Peru.
The process is well under way and banana producers already have the draft contract with the Brazilian company Agricampus, which will make the pest risk analysis to determine whether the Bolivian product meets the parameters.
The study, which would take at least a couple of months, will cost $7,000 to analyze only the characteristics of banana and about $11,000 if banana and plantain is analyzed. The cost is covered by exporters. [and with NO help, support from the president… of course, his loyalty remains with the coca production which is also grown in the Chapare…]
If realized, new markets would mean a relief for exporters because “to sell three to five trucks more per week, saves you” said Merida.
Even more so now, that industry data indicate that 2014 will close with a record production of over 5 million boxes. In 2013 production reached 4.7 million boxes.
The increase in yield and acreage are the reasons.
Obstacles in Argentina
While managing new markets, banana also hope again that the Government intercede with its counterpart in Argentina to resolve restrictions. [hope? … that should come without asking! a government is there to help private sector produce, get revenues, taxes, employment! … instead of demagogue bonuses and failed “state-owned” companies that current ochlocracy relentlessly continues to push… socialism may have reach a hundred years old… but has not worked anywhere in the world! Bolivia worst problem is to have incompetent rulers and an increasing narcotrafficking industry, anarchy is also sprouting and the the caudillo leftist will never change, until it sees the same devastation that is happening in Venezuela, here.]
Several weeks back, as it happened for the last three years, Argentine importers reduced their purchases because their government delays in the delivery of Advance Import Affidavits (DJAI). [… and both presidents are regarded as “comrades” in the populist demagogue of the Sao Paulo Forum…]
With $22 million dollars through September, banana exports rank second in value in the list of Cochabamba exports, first is natural gas, according to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE).
Banana production in the Chapare, in the red zone of narcotrafficking has only been made possible due to the work of the CRDP, CORDEP projects, funded by USAID in late 80s to early 90s.
The first export that came out of the Chapare was made possible because a deal was cut with a truck who used to bring tires to Bolivia and returned back to Chile empty… A contract was arranged with an Arica Supermarket by one of USAID’s advisors and weight and box dimensions were agreed. I remember that all people involved worked over 24 hours without stop to push and meet the deadline and cargo specs…
When buyer received the boxes, two were filled partially with leaves and mud… to come up with the required weight… many years from that experience… it makes me feel proud to know that Chapare banana exports are second in importance for Cochabamba, and are first ones in renewable production!
However, it infuriates me to see all demagogue speeches from both presidents, portraying themselves as socialists, as brothers in ideology and … the result is there… Bolivian current government is absolutely incompetent and truly deserves the title of being an ochlocracy!
Unabana is certainly patriot, entrepreneurial and has lots of self-steem, so I welcome them to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!