Banana industry in Davao will take time to recover-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
AFTER suffering from all kinds of disasters in 2012--from the Panama disease to China crisis to the devastation of Typhoon Pablo--the banana industry in Davao Region remains hopeful it will recover from all these unfortunate incidents.
"We hope that the banana industry will recover, because we cannot afford the banana industry to die," Stephen Antig, executive director of the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (Pbgea), told the regular Club 888 Forum at the Marco Polo Davao Wednesday.
But, while Antig is optimistic of the industry's rehabilitation, it will take time for the banana sector to fully recover from the effects of the debacle that hounded them last year, specifically from Typhoon Pablo that damaged vast banana plantations in Compostela Valley.
Antig said full recovery will not be felt until the last quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2014.
"I can say that year 2012 was the worst for the banana industry," Antig said.
Last year, banana growers and exporters suffered from the dreaded Panama disease, and then reeled even more when China--one of the country's top export market--imposed strict quarantine measures that resulted in many rejected shipments in October.
As if this wasn't enough, the banana industry took another severe beating when Typhoon Pablo struck the Philippines last December.
The calamity, the worst in the region, resulted to an P8 billion loss in damage to production and infrastrucute for the Davao banana industry.
Antig said around 25 percent of banana farmlands in the entire Davao Region was affected by Pablo.
And then just recently, Antig said he got reports that flooding in Davao del Norte the past days has affected some 400 hectares of one of their members.
"The banana tree cannot withstand water for 24 hours," he said.
Antig said growers and exporters are now negotiating with the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines for a loan package that will be used to rehabilitate damaged banana farmlands.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 24, 2013.