Philipinnes: Creation of banana development council pushed

MINDANAO farmers are pushing for the formation of Mindanao Banana Development Council (MBDC) that will look into the concerns of banana industry.

Ferdinand Marañon, president of Philexport Davao, said they will push for the creating of the MBDC during the Mindanao Banana Congress slated on November 7 to 9 at the SMX Convention Center.

He cited the importance of coming up with MBDC, as a policy-making body that will formulate roadmap for the development of banana as a sustainable industry.

Melanie Provido, Department of Agriculture (DA) high-value crops regional coordinator, said the proposed council will unite all the groups from banana industry from different regions in Mindanao to make a representation in the government.

Provido said with this it will be easier for the banana growers to express their concerns regarding the situation of banana industry in Mindanao.

Marañon said the banana congress next month will not be centered only on the concerns of the Cavendish banana growers but also the other growers of banana varieties.

"All types of bananas are covered in the congress. We want to bring in them kaay naa pud na sila concerns (they have their own concerns)," Marañon said during the regular Kapehan sa Dabaw at the SM City Davao Monday morning.

He said most of the concerns especially of the small growers are the market price and where to sell their products. He said they will also discuss solutions on the existing pests and diseases that are currently attacking several hectares of banana plantations.

Meanwhile, Rene Dalayon, chief executive officer of Federation of Banana Cooperatives (Fedco), said majority of the banana exporters in Davao region are not anymore sending out shipment of bananas to China in fear of rejection and lose millions in sales.

"Naay shipment (There's shipment) but not as much as before," he said.

Mindanao banana farmers are losing about 1.2 million boxes a week, translating to P180 million a week or P360 million a month since April this year.

He added that they are now on a pilot study of intercropping banana, cacao, and coconut. About 10 hectares is being planted to those crops, which can earn him about P100,000 after three years.


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