OLANCHITO, Honduras -- The farmlands hugging the Aguán River are an endless stretch of glossy green. Swaths of fronds cover the horizon, while neat green bunches of curling fruit peek out from under the shade. Banana plantations thrive in this valley, bringing year-round work to those who cut, clean and package the fruit for export to the United States.
Yet the farmers and families who grow Honduras’ fruits are under increasing strain. Over the past few years, the sweltering summer rainy season has grown hotter and drier, forcing producers to pump up more groundwater or turn to expensive irrigation systems. Cold spells during the current dry season are becoming even cooler, slowing the rate at which bananas ripen. Some smaller producers are abandoning their fields as the costs of tending to plants make farming less profitable.
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