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May 25, 2017

No Controls Over Local Banana Prices

Godwin Hulse

Was Minister Hulse aware that prices for local bananas have gone up? Bananas are said to be sold at six for a dollar as opposed to eight.  The answer is slightly complicated, but here is a basic primer: bananas are, on average, Belize’s third largest export after sugar and citrus in that order, and one of the oldest industries in Belize. But what you may not know is that after Fyffes finishes export of its pick of the litter, Belizeans are sold locally what they may call “the rejects” – not necessarily unhealthy or poor, but for one reason or another not acceptable for the very discriminating international market.  According to the Ministry of Agriculture, some ten thousand tons of bananas per year are rejected for international sale and it’s as simple as picking them up from the banana farms and selling for whatever price you please.  Hulse explained that the Ministry basically has no say in the price level.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture

“Bananas, my dear, is a luxury; it’s something that happens. The banana industry in this country is not geared toward the local market at all. It’s geared toward the export market, Fyffes being the main managers of the export. And so to my understanding from ever, bananas are on the market – what are not sold abroad, etcetera, different sizes, etcetera – it’s not a specific domestic production, so if the prices are up or down, it’s hard to comment on that.”

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