Ecuador: Producers call for more controls on onion smuggling

According to producers from Rocafuerte, smuggled Peruvian onions are being sold for 2 dollars a sack; a price with which they can't compete (as a sack of onions produced in the country costs 12 dollars). The authorities had stopped performing border control measures after an earthquake in the region.

Luber Valencia, the president of the Association of Onion Producers of Manabi, said sales had not rebounded as expected, which proved that the illegal entry of Peruvian onions harmed the crop. "We sell our product to wholesalers for 4 to 5 dollars, but our production costs are between 10 and 12 dollars per sack," he said ruefully.

As a result, he said, the product is rotting. He should have sold his crop a month ago, but there's no one to sell it to, that's why producers are offering to sell it as retail (roadside sales), he said.

Last year, Luber said, there were controls that reduced the illegal entry of onions. "After the earthquake, the smugglers found new ways of bringing the onions in the country."