September 1st, 2014
Ecuador’s mango industry is planning a push to boost the country’s competitiveness by uniting the sector’s production chain and educating growers on best farming practices.
Over the last 18 months, Ecuador has exported some US$68 million worth of the fruit. However, an industry representative has said the sector needs to organize the way it operates in order to improve.
Mango Ecuador Foundation executive director Johnny Jara toldwww.freshfruitportal.com although the industry was performing well, there were still certain areas it needed to work on to ramp up international trade.
A starting place will be the 5th International Mango Symposium, which is to be held in the country in early September and attended by important players from the global industry, as well as the Ecuadorian Agricultural Minister Javier Ponce.
“Part of our role is to educate, and what better way to do that than through these international events that we do every two years. Several experts with excellent reputations from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and the U.S. will be attending and will be able to educate and strengthen our producers, exporters and packers,” Jara said.
Jara said key topics to be discussed included diseases, irrigation, phytosanitary controls, storage, soil nutrition and food safety, all of which were of huge importance to the sector.
“[We want to] develop the Latin American unity through training, since we have the support of local producers as well as friends from Colombia, Peru Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua,” he said.
Jara added companies that supported the sector, such as ones providing agrichemicals, boxes, and shipping services, would also be present at the event to promote business and help ‘put Ecuador on the trade map’.
He also described the symposium as a ‘landmark event’ for the industry that would act as a fantastic meeting point for all those who worked with mangoes.
“This international event – the fifth of which will be held on September 4 and 5 in Guayaquil, Ecuador – has become the most important meeting of its kind within the context of Latin America. We are expecting more than 350 people from different countries to attend,” he said.
“13 foreign exhibitors and one Ecuadorian one will be present, who will share their acquired knowledge of this crop, and everyone is invited to attend.”
Ecuador currently has around 5,200 hectares of ‘exportable’ mango production, according to Jara, which is made up of varieties like Tommy Atkins, Kent, Ataulfo and Haden.