Guys, this is bananas! (Sorry, I had to make that joke)
Banana producers from the Salta, Jujuy, and Formosa provinces staged a protest in Plaza de Mayo this Wednesday that they aptly titled bananazo. (Side note: We had a conversation in the newsroom about how to translate that and came up with “bananathon” which sounds terrible but sorry, we’ve got nothing else.)
Since early this morning, protesters were giving away approximately 30 tons of bananas across from the Casa Rosada in an effort to get the Government’s attention and in a strong rejection of banana import policies, which they claim are hurting their local productions due to their impossibility to match such competitive prices. They also want consumers to pay a higher price for them.
The head of Argentina’s Farming Federation (FAA), Pánfilo Ayala, said that this is a “historically unresolved” issue in Argentina.
The FAA is asking the President Macri to meet with its representatives so they can explain in person the consequences of having “foreign bananas enter the local market in a massive way.”
Roughly, Argentina imports about 450.000 tons of bananas each year.
Ayala also explained that producers makes between AR$1 and AR$1.5 per kilo of bananas sold, while consumers pay about AR$20 in an average grocery store. According to him, producers should be making at least AR$5 per kilo sold in order to maintain production.
This is not the first time that producers in the farming sector stage this kind of protest. Only a few months ago, vegetable producers used the same strategy in an effort to get the Government’s attention.
Most grocery stores in Buenos Aires will sell a kilo of bananas for a price that ranges between AR $20/AR $25.