EXPORT of fresh bananas made up 12.44 percent of the entire export made by Davao Region in 2016 amounting to about $84.85 million.
In the data provided by Philexport Davao Region, there are about 60 commodities that the region is exporting, the top commodity of which is the fresh bananas with export amounting to exactly $84,854,883.21.
Aside from bananas, top export commodity of the region for 2016 also includes abaca fiber with total export amounting to $52.37 million or about 7.68 percent of the entire export made by the region last year. Gold and silver came next with $33.80 million contributing 4.96 percent of the export of the region.
Total export of coconut oil is at $17.86 million contribution 2.82 percent of the exports of the region in 2016 while fresh pineapples were at $17.27 million or 2.53 percent.
Other commodities on the list include desiccated coconut ($15.25 million), banana puree ($7.90 million), activated carbon ($7.22 million), banana chips ($3.99 million), and rubber ($3.06 million).
Meanwhile, with the objective of fully promoting and supporting the banana export industry, Philexport is set to conduct a banana congress on October 12 to 13, wherein they also plan to discuss the need to create a banana industry development council.
“Our target here is to form the banana industry development council. The banana industry has a lot of problems but we don’t have a major organization or council which supposed to be supported by the government,” said PhilExport chairman Domingo Ang.
The peace and order situation in Mindanao is one of the problems that the banana industry is facing that Ang wishes to be addressed during the congress next month.
In an earlier interview with Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig, he said the presence of the terrorists and rebel groups in Mindanao had caused investors to have second thoughts in investing in the island.
“The government should really do something about the peace and order situation in Mindanao otherwise the economy will definitely suffer if this will continue,” Antig said.
Aside from the peace and order situation, Ang said they also wish to address the concern that South America is the top competitor of the Philippines, or Davao Region in particular, in terms of banana export.
Ang said with China being the top importer of fresh bananas, the Philippines should be leading in the export of the commodity since the Philippines is much nearer to China than South America is.
“Our bananas can reach China within a week. With South America, it takes them about 30 days and yet they can still compete with us. Something is wrong with us,” Ang said adding that they hope that the congress would address the expansion issues of the industry.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 19, 2017.
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