The decline in exports is a direct effect of the COOSEMUPAR operation stoppage since September 2008.
"In the Pacific, COOSEMUPAR’s area of influence, there were only 152,831 boxes exported in the first quarter, reflecting a decrease of 93%. While in the Atlantic, the situation was less dramatic; there were 2.595 million boxes of bananas exported, a decrease of 8.2%," wrote Rafael Berrocal in Prensa.com.
Negotiations began yesterday between the cooperative and banana multinational Del Monte to complete the 25-year lease of the plantations, thereby financially rescuing COOSEMUPAR.
The decline of agricultural products exports have left losses of more than $20 million.
According to data from the Comptroller General of the Republic, a decline of 53% was reported for banana exports between January and April of this year, 68.85% in melons, 53.48% in watermelons, and 19.8% in pineapple compared to the same period last year.
Del Monte withdrew from negotiations for the operation of COOSEMUPAR, and a substitution through government investment is being considered.
Del Monte multinational withdrew from negotiations for the operation of Port Armuelles Multiple Services Cooperative (COOSEMUPAR) due to protests by cooperative workers, who blocked the border crossing between Panama and Costa Rica.
IPACOOP selected the offer of $54 million by Del Monte for the rental of 3 thousand hectares from the COOSEMUPAR banana company for 25 years.
With the decision of the Panamanian Autonomous Cooperative Institute (IPACOOP), negotiations for an agreement between cooperative COOSEMUPAR and Del Monte for the rental of the banana plantations will begin.
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