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Panamanian banana exports grew in 2020 despite the pandemic

Panama’s banana growth last year couldn’t be slowed by a virus.

The production and exports of bananas in the Baru region, a province of Chiriqui, and Bocas del Toro registered growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching a total of 19.9 million boxes of bananas exported during 2020.

This reflected a 7 percent increase from 18.6 million boxes in 2019, at an average price of 7.66 balboas per box, as reported by El Siglo.

Carlos Motta, the National Director of Bananas of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, pointed out that between Bocas del Toro and the Baru region, there are about 8,600 hectares planted with bananas, which generates around 200 million balboas in foreign currency and more than 8,000 direct jobs.

Per reports provided by the MIDA National Banana Directorate, among the exporting companies the following stand out: Chiquita Panama, which exported 14.9 million boxes; Ilara Holding, Inc with 2.6 million boxes; Banapiña 1.5 million boxes; and Coobana with 814,000 boxes.

Motta pointed out that the banana industry in Panama maintained a good rate of exports to the markets of Belgium, England, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany.

He also mentioned that the fruit has also been sent on a smaller scale to China, Korea, and the U.S.

Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services