Banana Republic

Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia – 2007

Eighty percent of the exported bananas in the world are grown in Latin America. Local farms have no other alternative than to sell for a price offered by the multinational company. When working conditions and ecology is in question, the corporations (Chiquita, Dole, Fresh del Monte) do not have any responsibility as they do not own plantations. Local governments in the attempt of organizing banana export provide low duty taxes on export, they try to eliminate social and enviromental politics to attract the big companies to their countries. If the local governments did not do it by themselves, the big companies would threaten with going somewhere else.

Considering the consumption of chemicals a banana tree is the second in the world right after a cotton plant. A third of its price are expenses for its chemical maintenance. Pesticides used on the plantations in Latin America, as e.g. Paraquat and some phosphates, are forbidden in some European countries, on the other hand in Costa Rica they are duty and tax free. There are also a lot of risks for the inhabitants of banana regions, such as man impotence, cancer, cutaneous diseases, respiratory problems.

A banana harvest is done irregularly according to an order by a firm headquarters. The workers on the plantations are hired only on a three months contract basis. When it finishes, they have to wait another three months to ask for a job. In Costa Rica a worker earns 70.000 colons for 15 working days, which is about ten dollars a day. The shifts begin at four o´clock in the morning and finish at six in the evening.

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Perfect photo!

Mario

31.12.2008 – 20:03

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