Packing facilities encouraged to apply for BPI accreditation-A A +A
Thursday, June 21, 2012
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said small packing failities in Davao Region are now required to apply for acreditation from the Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI) before being allowed to operate again.
DA Davao regional technical director for operations Norlito Agduyeng said there are more than 400 packing facilities in the region. He said it was China that imposed the new requirement on Philippine banana growers to prevent the infestation of insects on export products. Agduyeng said they are not anymore conducting an inspection on the big industry as they are already expected to meet the international standards.
According to him, big companies are already equipped with packing facilities that meet the requirement of China.
To pass the accreditation, small banana growers must have a clean water supply and packing facilities with screen nets.
Agduyeng said there are farmers who do the packing only at the backyard, a practice which makes bananas become more susceptible to insect infestation.
The DA said there were already 69 small packing failities that submitted application for the accreditation, but only 44 were able to meet the standards of the BPI.
For those who do not have the packing facilities, Agduyeng said the department in Davao Region will rather cluster these small farmers. In every cluster, different groups of farmers will be assigned to one packing facility to be established by DA.
Another solution to allow the operation of the small banana growers who failed to meet the standards is to rehabilitate and upgrade the packing facilities.
As of May 25, DA records showed that about 1,500 containers are still on hold in China. Some 190 containers were accepted and 337 container vans are set to be returned or be destroyed.
For the monitoring on packing facilities, the official said they will be deploying local government unit (LGU) technicians and DA technicians.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 21, 2012.