Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) has condemned the stance of the provincial government of Davao del Norte, that wanted to demolish biosecurity facilities against fusarium wilt in a banana plantation. According to the PBGEA, this could harm the country’s billion-dollar export product.
In a statement on Monday, PBGEA appealed to the government for “cooler heads” to intervene in the situation it described as a “coercion by local politicians who may be unaware of the danger their actions bear on the future of the country’s top agricultural export earner.”
“The provincial government of Davao del Norte—in its zeal to clear all road obstructions—may inadvertently help destroy the same industry that are providing huge amounts of taxes that pay for the services provided to their constituents,” PBGEA Executive Director Stephen A. Antig said.
The PBGEA was referring to the road-clearing operations allegedly ordered by Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib last week, which targeted the gates of the plantation managed by Tagum Agricultural Development Co. The endangered biosecurity facilities of Tadeco include tire baths and foot baths that prevent the spread of the Panama disease or Fusarium wilt in the 5,308-hectare banana plantation inside the Davao Prison and Penal Farm reservation.