Panama: Exports of Melon, Watermelon and Pumpkin Up 13%

25 thousand tons of cucurbits were sold in Europe, the United States and Canada in the 2013-2014 agricultural season.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The price for a box of melons in presentation of 24 pounds was $13, a box of watermelon weighing 37 pounds cost $16, while a sack of pumpkins weighing 45 pounds was sold in international markets at $12. Overall, there was an increase of 13.6% in total shipments in the 2013-2014 season, compared with the previous agricultural cycle.

According to Francisco Antunez, a member of the Union of Agricultural Exporters of Non-Traditional Goods in Panama (Gantrap) "In the country, between melons, watermelons and pumpkins 2000 hectares were cultivated and yields improved by 10%. Watermelon fields where on average 50,000 pounds were produced, now harvest 75,000 pounds ... Last year the amount of cucurbits planted was only 800 thousand hectares. "

The agricultural areas of Chiriquí, Veraguas, Cocle and Azuero (Los Santos and Herrera) stand out among the areas in the country with the largest area of ​​production of cucurbits.

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Panama is home to the XX International Congress of Producers and Exporters of Melon and Watermelons in Central America which brings together companies and exporters.

Organized by the Group of Non-Traditional Exporters of Panama (Gantrap) it will end on Saturday August 18 with business negotiation rounds between exporters, producers, importers and service providers.

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According to the Union of Nontraditional Agro-exporters (Gantrap) in the 2010/11 season, 2,600 hectares of melon, watermelon and pumpkin will be cultivated; 1,500 less than last season.

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The Asian country waived a series of food health measures which prevented Panamanian melons, pineapples, watermelons and gourds from entering its market.

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Panamanian Government supports agricultural exporters

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Starting December agriculture exporters of melon, watermelon, and pumpkin will be able to finance the packing costs and maritime transport costs, in addition to production.

The financing offered by the Government is being restructured in order to plant more than 5 thousand hectares of pumpkin, and later to include other products, the presidential adviser on Agricultural matters, Guillermo Salazar, reported.