Costa Rican banana exports grew 7 per cent in 2020 in spite of Covid challenges. Figures released by national banana corporation Corbana show the country shipped 129.6m boxes (18.14kg) of the fruit last year, compared with 120.7m boxes in 2019.

The sector generated US$1.12bn in export revenue in 2020, a slight increase on the US$1.105bn generated during the previous year.

Corbana said the increase in sales was due to good growing conditions, coupled with the fall in production in Honduras and Guatemala due to the devastating effect of hurricanes Eta and Iota.

But it admitted that exporters had been forced to reduce prices in order to place all of the fruit on the market.

“The data reveal the commitment of the national banana sector to seek new markets and new options to place the fruit, but above all to protect thousands of jobs that translate into well-being for a region lacking job opportunities,” the corporation’s general manager, Jorge Sauma, said.

He stressed that in spite of the economic crisis generated by the pandemic, the banana sector had continued to provide 40,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs.

“Since the start of the pandemic in the banana industry, rigorous measures have been taken to take care of the health of our workers, who we thank for their efficiency and motivation,” Sauma continued.