Improving the sustainable production of bananas is the main goal of the ABNB. Production and trade volumes of bananas have increased rapidly in recent years in Latin America, further emphasizing the necessity for making banana supply chains more sustainable. Information on costs of sustainable production contributes to this goal by stimulating improvements in the banana supply chain and offering all actors a stronger information base for dialogue on shared responsibilities.
The scientific basis for this work is the new study “Production Costs in the Colombian Banana Sector” by COMO Consult. The implementation of the study is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as known and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia and by the producer associations AUGURA and ASBAMA.
The entire study is available for download in English. You can find the download link here.
Overview of the study
The study looks at the banana sector in Colombia and the production costs of export bananas. It was conducted in close collaboration with the two representative associations in the sector: the Colombian Banana Growers’ Association (AUGURA) and the Magdalena and Guajira Banana Growers’ Association (ASBAMA). The main producers of bananas for export and the main trading companies that export fruit to international markets are their members.
The study gives a comprehensive overview of the banana sector in Colombia showing very clearly that banana production and international trade is not only of global importance but also of great importance to Colombia specifically. Its importance is illustrated not only by the 170.000 jobs the export sector generates, but also by nearly 91% of national banana production (1.900.000 tons in 2019) being destined for export, and more than 50.000 hectares being planted with bananas for export, distributed in the departments of Antioquia, Magdalena and La Guajira.
The study estimates average estimated cost of production per box of bananas at 7,80 USD. The average external costs of the banana sector are 6,70 USD per box. However, yields have a substantial influence on unit production costs clarifying the significance of good agricultural practices in the sector.
The study begins with overview chapters on the background of the study and an introduction into the banana sector. Subsequently it takes an in-depth look at the banana market and production costs in Colombia. In this part factors such as Colombian banana production and exports, certifications and current global developments are investigated. The study concludes with implications and recommendations for producers, policy makers and the banana sector in Colombia.