In Manila, representative Wilbert Lee of AGRI party-list group has filed House Bill 6300 - or the Banana Research and Export Act of 2022 - amid the massive decline in the production of bananas in the Philippines.
Lee cited the need to pursue research and development of the banana business for its sustainability. This, he said, in light of the fact that fresh bananas are widely in demand worldwide, and being the fourth most important agricultural commodity in developing countries.
“Undeniably, the banana industry contributes significantly to our national economy and serves as an important source of income for a big population of Filipino farmers,” Lee said. “Our banana industry is a low-hanging fruit that needs to be picked up and provided with enough support from the government… Continuing research and development on this fruit and export product must be pursued for its sustainability and competitiveness.”
Although 90 percent of Asian banana exports originates in the Philippines, which ranks as the second leading global banana exporter worldwide, this 90 percent share fell to some 60 percent last year. The main causes for this were Covid-19 and the spread of the Panama disease.