Recent high winds in Panama have severely affected banana production in the Central American country.

Panamanian press reports indicate that the winds have knocked fruit from the trees in 1,500ha of banana plantations belonging to the Coosemupar co-operative. This represents around 35 per cent of the organisation’s total output and over half of the producers lost almost 80 per cent of their crops.

As well as destroying crops, the inclement weather blocked roads and destroyed 25 workers’ homes.

Meanwhile, the government has again failed to bring the co-op’s marketing agent Chiquita to the negotiating table in a long-running dispute over the two parties’ contractual agreement.