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Current Position:Home » News » General News » Topic

Panama: President signs contract law between the State and Del Monte

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-05-31  Views: 2
Core Tip: Yesterday, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, signed the legal agreement between the State and Del Monte that will allow the transnational company to invest more than 100 million dollars in the reactivation of banana areas in the western provinc
Yesterday, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, signed the legal agreement between the State and Del Monte that will allow the transnational company to invest more than 100 million dollars in the reactivation of banana areas in the western provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro.

After signing the document with Banapiña Panama SA, a subsidiary of Del Monte, Varela said that the investment would generate more than 3,100 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect ones that will impact the districts of Baru and Alanje in Chiriqui, and Chiriquí Grande in Bocas del Toro.

He said that once the operation is implemented "there will be a production of 900 hectares per year, with an average annual productivity of 2,275 boxes of bananas per hectare."

"We will revive the region economically and socially with this investment (from Del Monte) and the almost 200 million dollars that we are investing in the district of Baru," said the president during an event in the province of Chiriqui.

The contract law, which was approved last April 26 by the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) of Panama and was endorsed by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, has a duration of 20 years that can be extended.

It establishes a plan to revive the banana sector that includes the leasing of land and their conditioning, the construction of infrastructure, fruit exports, and the necessary improvements to develop the activity in 5,804 hectares of production.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Chiriqui, Maria Isabel Anguizola, said that this contract "is a light on the way to advance the economy of Baru and to reactivate this region."

The president of the employers' association of Baru, Eyra Sanchez, highlighted the growing enthusiasm of the people for this project.

The Chamber of Commerce of Baru has reported that this district's unemployment rate stands at more than 60% and that, as a result of this, almost half of the population has emigrated from the place, so there are only about 40,000 inhabitants in this depressed area.

The farms where the bananas used to be grown are currently choked with grasslands and shrubs and the cable systems to move the fruits from the fields to the warehouses are in an advanced state of deterioration.

Up until March 2008, Chiquita Brands had a monopoly on the marketing of bananas in the district of Baru. However, the company decided to abandon this business and transfer it to the farm workers, who were grouped in a cooperative called Coosemupar. Unfortunately, they were unable to relaunch the sector.

The American company, Del Monte, has been interested in investing in Baru since 2009.
 
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