BANANA exports in Davao Region have significantly increased in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
Based on the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Cavendish and other bananas remained the top export of the region with a gross weight of about 1.09 billion kilograms and a total export value of about $499 million or roughly P25 billion from April to June this year.
In the same period in 2018, the total export for banana pegged at about 496 million kilograms with an export value of $219 million or roughly P11 billion.
“I think the government’s activities to help boost the banana industry are showing some benefits like in Korea, Japan, and China,” Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) executive director John Carlo Tria said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
In the second quarter of 2019, Japan remained to be the top export destination of the region with an export value of $223 million, followed by China with $223 million.
“The Chinese market is proving to be a very big buyer of banana and at the same time helping our producers diversify,” he said, adding that the country also accepts coconut and durian.
“Definitely, there is a big opportunity that we need to take advantage of pag-abot sa atong mga crops,” Tria added.
He said when supply chains are established, producers and exporters can include other products aside from the main export commodity.
Meanwhile, in the data provided by the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), the Philippines’ overall volume of fresh banana exported by its members has declined by 6.3 percent from January to August 2019 in the same period of 2018.
“From 127,052,780 boxes in 2018, it went down to 119,226,213 boxes,” PBGEA reported.
PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig in a text message with SunStar Davao said Davao Region accounted for 95 percent of the total banana produce in the country.
“Only Mindanao can produce good quality cavendish for export,” he said.
He attributed the decrease in production to climate change and the onslaught of pests and diseases.
PBGEA also saod “Philippine bananas still dominate the markets in China, Japan, and South Korea although geopolitical, regulatory and other concerns are hounding its competitiveness.”