Costa Rican banana corporation Corbana has held a series of meetings with the agriculture and foreign trade minister this month to analyse the challenges facing the country’s banana industry in the coming years.
One of the main topics up for discussion was the threat posed by the Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama Disease, which is wreaking havoc in plantations across Asia and Africa and against which there is, as yet, no effective treatment. Jorge Sauma, Corbana’s general manager, said that the country’s phytosanitary services, disease control authority and banana marketers were working together in a bid to prevent the disease from reaching the country.
Other issues discussed at the meetings include the global outlook for the banana market, how to boost the sector’s competitiveness, Costa Rica’s free trade agreement with the European Union, and the official registration of the Banana from Costa Rica PGI in Europe.
Corbana’s president, Eduardo Gomez, said the country’s banana exports rose by 3.7 per cent to approximately 110m boxes in 2013, generating US$850m in revenue. The European market absorbed 48 per cent of the total export volume, with 41 per cent destined for the US and 11 per cent to other markets.