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Attacks threaten Philippine fruit exportsAttacks by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) on pineapple and banana plantations have jeopardized the country’s top fruit exports and placed at risk its standing as one of the world’s biggest banana exporters, according to some growers.
Eduardo Maningo, a spokesman for the Mindanao agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), in a statement, has called on the government to step up its efforts to protect farm workers and agribusinesses vulnerable to NPA attacks.
“Our industry is already hampered with problems. We have low productivity because of pests and diseases, drought and flooding… but the insurgency is most alarming. We are scared for our lives,” he added.
Communist insurgents have focused their attacks in Mindanao’s lucrative fruit farm businesses, aiming to paralyzing their operations by burning or destroying equipment if their owners refuse to pay “revolutionary taxes”.
Among the facilities that the communists have destroyed include Dole’s cold storage plant and other equipment in Barangay Sinawal in General Santos City last March 30; a banana processing plant in Pantukan, Compostela Valley last Feb. 5; a pineapple plantation in Bukidnon on Feb. 25; and three container vans loaded with fruits in Maragusan, Compostela Valley on March 25.
Publication date: 4/19/2017
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