EcuadoriaN BananA RegionS

You may have read in our BananitaBlog where bananas are worldwide grown (if not you can read it here: Where are bananas coming from and going to?). But what about Ecuador? Let’s find out the Ecuadorian banana regions.

Where are bananas especifically harvested in Ecuador?

Do you know these Ecuadorian banana growing regions?

In other words, what are the most important provinces known for growing bananas in Ecuador?

Ecuador, the land of the four “worlds” (based on its four different climate zones: Amazonas, Andes, Coast and Galápagos) is the world leading exporter of bananas. Nevertheless, only 3 of the 24 administrative regions in which Ecuador is divided produce most of the bananas

And what are these top 3 Ecuadorian banana growing regions?

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock from Ecuador (MAGAP) these are:

Los Ríos, Guayas and El Oro.

Ecuadorian Banana growing regions

Source: Banana Crop data sheet from MAGAP, 2021

Los Ríos (37.14%) is the province with the highest banana production. Then follows the province of Guayas (32.25%) and in third position El Oro (24,12%). (Source: MAGAP Ecuador, Map of estimated banana cultivation area 2021 in mainland Ecuador). Similar numbers reveal the “Situational analysis of banana crops from the MAGAP” where it appears the same top three of the provinces with highest banana production (Source: Agricultural Public Information System of Ecuador , SIPA).

Banana growing area SIPA

Source: SIPA, 2021

If we look at the number of growers, the ranking reveals a very different outcome in 2021. Therefore, considering the number of Agricultural Production Units (UPA), banana growers are mainly located in El Oro (14.68 % UPA) and in smaller numbers in  Los Ríos (12.09 %) and Guayas (11.18%) (Source: SIPA, 2021). 

UPA number per provinceBanana production graphic

This difference between the distribution of production and the number of farms is because El Oro has the largest number of small banana growers. On the other hand, in Guayas and Los Ríos are located the big growers. Therefore, in 2021 the yield per hectare is smaller in El Oro than in the the two other regions.

Ecuadorian Banana yield graphicFor instance, in 2021 the cultivated area of bananas in El Oro was 41,169 ha. This area produced 1,502,098 t of bananas which reveals a yield of 36,49 t per hectare. But this outcome is much lower than those from Guayas or Los Ríos, whose yields amount to 45,94 and 45,74 TM per hectare (Source: SIPA Banana state reports).

Ecuadorian bananas crop area

What is considered a small sized grower?

The size of the farms is classified by the MAGAP as follows:

  • Very small farm: 0 – 5 ha
  • Small farm: > 5 – 10 ha
  • Medium farm: > 10 ha – 30 ha
  • Big farm: > 30 ha – 100 ha
  • Very big farm: > 100 ha

Source: MAGAP Banana land registry

This classification explains that the Ecuadorian bananas are mostly produced by small and medium growers:

Banana farm classification

So, if you have already enjoyed an Ecuadorian banana, remember that it is highly likely that it came from a small sized farm.