$100 million banana deal means 3,000 jobs

842Views 2Comments Posted 26/04/2017

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY  has unanimously approved in second debate, a bill which guarantees a contract to revive banana production in Baru, creating 3,000 jobs and attracting a $100 million investment,

The contract is between the state and the company Banapiña de Panamá, S.A. ­ a subsidiary of Del Monte Fresh Products ­

Acting Minister of the Presidency Salvador Sánchez, explained  to the Assembly that the contract includes a lease of 4,000 hectares owned by the state and 1,700 hectares of private land that will be leased to the state. That land, in turn, will be farmed by Banapiña.

He said that the project also contemplates a development plan, not only in the task of planting and improving agricultural activities but also in the reactivation of the irrigation system and any other work necessary to increase banana activity with technology currently available.

The contract has a term of 20 years and is renewable for an additional 20 years, and has  the proviso that if the concessionaire meets the conditions of the contract, it is entitled to an automatic extension.

The company commits itself to investing at least $100 million over a seven­year period. The project will create some 3,000 jobs.

Sánchez added that the company must pay the municipal taxes to the district of the Barú,

guaranteeing local revenue of $312,000.

"This will be a valuable investment, not only in terms of money, but also in improving the quality

of life of the beneficiaries of that investment," he said.