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Panama: Banapiña to Export 15,000 Boxes of Bananas per Week to the US in 2019

15.2.2019

On February 11th Banapiña, a subsidiary of the Del Monte multinational began exporting bananas produced in the province of Chiriqui to the West Coast market of the United States.

This is the first result of the reactivation of the district of Barú, after the area fell into a deep economic slowdown after the collapse of the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples of Puerto Armuelles, R.L. (Coosemupar), in 2010.

The vessel left from the port of Caldera on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica where Banapiña manages other production lines. "The decision of the company is to do some economy of scale, because the port of Puerto Armuelles has to be adapted before we are able to use it," said the head of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), Eduardo Enrique Carles.

Currently, the reactivation of the banana plantations generates 300 direct jobs and another 200 indirect ones, not counting all the associated jobs that will begin to occur in that area and in the province of Chiriqui.

This year alone, Banapiña plans to export 1.4 million boxes of bananas at a rate of 15,000 boxes per week, said Carles.

In the first seven years of investment, the company plans to raise the payroll and generate 3,000 direct jobs. In addition, during that time, the company will produce in 4,737 hectares.

In the decade of the 1990s, Panama exported around 42 million boxes of bananas per year, with a total export value of US$ 200 million.

Bananas are produced for export in the provinces of Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí.

Today the Atlantic area profits with US$120 million, the Pacific side is expected to rebound in the next seven years through an investment of US$ 100 million.

On the issue of the invaders (producers who have occupied the land without property title), the minister said that they are currently indemnifying 350 producers at the rate of US$ 1.1 million; It is a very complex administrative and legal process that is being carried out in the area," said Carles.

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