IN ORDER to compete in the international market, the Banana Industry Development Council (BIDC) will establish a banana research institute.
"The establishment of the banana research institute is needed. One which could cater not only to Cavendish but also to other types like Saba, Cardaba, and processed products," Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Inc. (PBGEA) Executive Director and BDIC member Stephen Antig said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
This is part of BIDC's 2019-2020 roadmap for the banana industry.
"[It is needed because] this is one reason why we are not as competitive as the others since we do not have research facilities that could detect new pests and diseases for example. Other countries are very advanced on these areas that is why they can produce tissue cultures that are resistant to pests and diseases," Antig said.
Antig said the latest variety of banana planted in the region is a product research in Taiwan.
"If we do not have a research facility, we may become dependent to other countries. That is if other countries would choose to share their researches with us who I doubt because we are also a competitor for them," he said.
The roadmap, created by the industry stakeholders in 2018, is a set of action plan on how the industry will achieve its goals of inclusive growth through value chain approach.
"The competition of banana industry in the world is getting tougher every year. The only way we survive is if we are united. Meaning, all the banana producers, big or small should be united," Antig said.
"For the last five years, we have been trying to establish a mechanism that will bring together all these stakeholders," he added.
Meanwhile, Antig said they are currently waiting for the budget from the Department of Agriculture to implement the roadmap.