THE Philippine Banana Growers and Export Association (PBGEA) will be raising issues on Philippine banana importation in Australia during the 4th Philippines-Australia Agriculture Forum (PAAF) in Canberra, Australia.
PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig said the presence of PBGEA was included because the topic of the export of Philippine bananas to Australia has been added to the agenda.
“Kini siya usa ka pamaagi arun masettle pud nato kung ngano ingun ato ang bases sa Australian market in terms of exporting bananas (This is also a way so that we can settle with them regarding with the bases of the Australian market in terms of exporting bananas),” Antig said in an interview.
The Philippines, through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will be presenting a paper focusing on the import requirements related to the number of leaves on banana plants and non-perforated packaging stated in Australia’s Import Risk Analysis Report. BPI is also expecting a collaboration with PBGEA in coming up with a stronger stance regarding the issue
Antig said the Australian market has been requiring the Philippine banana export industry to have eight leaves prior to harvest, and that non-perforated plastic bags should be used to pack the product.
“Ang among gakatingalahan pud is ngano okay lang sa uban namo international markets pero pag abot sa Australia naa ingun ani nga requirements (What we are wondering is why we are approved with our other international markets but when it comes to the Australian market these requirements show up),” Antig said.
Representatives from the Department of Agriculture-International Affairs Division will also be attending the event representing the Philippine agricultural sector.