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Philippines: Rain adds to banana growers' problems

It will take at least a year for the banana industry in the Davao Region to recover from typhoon Pablo’s devastation, an industry leader said on Wednesday.

Stephen A. Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), also said the continuous downpour experienced by the region since last week has already destroyed an additional 400 hectares of plantations in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte.

“Banana (plants) cannot survive in water for 24 hours,” said Mr. Antig, pointing out that although some growers have already started rehabilitating their plantations, the process has been slow because of the cost. He said a grower needs at least P430,000 ($8000 US) to rehabilitate a hectare of banana farm.

State-run Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines already expressed their commitment to help finance the rehabilitation of the banana industry.

Aside from the banks, Mr. Antig said companies that have signed marketing contracts with the growers are also willing to help their growers finance their respective rehabilitation.

Source: bworldonline.com

Publication date: 1/24/2013


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