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Challenges faced by Philippines banana industry in 2018

The banana industry is one of the main economic drivers for the Davao Region. The area has vast and rich lands suitable for growing export-quality bananas. The province of Davao del Norte is even dubbed as the “Banana Capital of the Philippines”.

Though this big-scale banana industry continues to be major economic player for Davao region, threats continue to emerge this year from the various competitors our banana industry faces in the global market.

Philippine Banana Growers Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig said increasing export sales revenue are still recorded, however production costs are still high, negatively offsetting the increased revenues. Antig said costs on the rising oil prices must be accounted for, and the recent increase on the region’s minimum wage to P56 can affect the cost of production.

Data from the Department of Agriculture Davao Region showed the country’s banana industry had a 56 percent increase in export amounting to a value of $1.13 million. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the increase is attributed to the expansion of banana plantations and less weather disturbances.

PSA reports bananas ranked fourth with $140.91 million and a 2.5 percent share to the total export receipts in June 2018.

According to¸ Antig also said issues on tariffs continue to affect the international banana trade. In previous reports, PBGEA continue to push for bilateral talks with Korea to lower the tariff to zero. This developed after the international trade of bananas in Asia became more competitive with the entry of Central American players that are enjoying zero tariffs.

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