An ash cloud from the Turrialba volcano is causing disruption to banana production in Costa Rica.
According to national banana corporation Corbana, it has so far covered around 3,500ha in the country’s Atlantic coastal region, principally the cantons of Siquirres and Guácimo.
The ash is damaging plant roots and burning the skin of the fruit. This leaves blemishes which means it has to be downgraded from premium to second class, losing at least US$1 in value per box.
Corbana warned that if the volcano continues to emit ash, production in Caribbean areas could be impacted.
Producers are protecting plants by washing roots with water and covering them in plastic bags to prevent further damage.
The association said it has yet to carry out a full assessment of losses.