Small banana farmers cooperatives and associations from the Philippines have been tapped by the government to supply Cavendish bananas in Eastern European (EEU) countries, and Russia in particular. This development came following a meeting between Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and officials of banana farmers cooperatives of Compostela Valley in Davao City.
Piñol said the Agriculture department would provide support to the identified cooperatives in consolidating their banana production to access the Eastern European market, including production support such as solar irrigation facilities and fertilizers.
“This would include a long-term marketing agreement which would assure them of a market with a fixed price for their produce,” Piñol said in statement over the weekend. He noted that the EEU market had an estimated 180 million consumers. “The market in the Russian Federation alone needs 150,000 boxes every week, according to an executive of the Magnit Supermatket, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Russia with 12,500 outlets,” he explained.
He said that while the country awaited the development of a 7,000-hectare banana farm in the Bangsamoro Area initiated by a group of Eastern European investors, the group will be buying from small independent farmers to supply their market requirements.
Manilatimes.net explains how the Russian market alone has an annual expenditure of $5 billion for tropical fruits, mainly bananas.