The potential for export of non-Cavendish banana varieties will be explored during this year's banana forum and business matching event; this will be held on October 24 and 25 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City.
Philippine Exporters Confederation Davao Region Chapter Executive Director Marizon Loreto said this year, the focus will be on the opportunities of cardava, saba, lacatan, and other banana varieties in the export market, with the goal of enhancing their production and empower the farmers of these varieties.
Mrs Loreto said these varieties has been left behind Cavendish because local producers do not have enough knowledge on increasing the supply for both local and international market: "Over the last 40 or 50 years, according to the banana stakeholders … nobody has really thought of going [into] commercial production and looking into a plantation-based kind of commercial endeavors for these varieties.”
She added that the current demand of the international markets like China, Vietnam, USA, Germany, and other Asian countries is for banana chips. This, while the processors of cardava struggle to supply even to their local partners. Loreto cited Chinese businessmen who were interested in buying about 100 tons of banana chips in a year: "I really don’t know if the processors themselves were not so interested because according to them, they already have their market and in fact, they could not even supply much of their own market.”
Topics of the forum include best practices in commercial productions, natural farming methods and technologies, simplified farming practices, banana diseases handling methods, global standards, opportunities in the banana’s every phases of the production cycle, crop insurance, access on government funding and support, among others.
The business matching is also intended to build business partnerships among various banana stakeholders such as the suppliers of raw materials, technology, financings, and all kinds of probable business transactions.