STATE-OWNED Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has granted a P645-million loan to Hijo Superfoods, Inc. (HSI) for the establishment and expansion of its banana flour and coconut sugar manufacturing facilities, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said that the bank's credit support to "Project Honeycomb" of HSI, a start-up unit of Hijo Resources Group, would boost the production of its export products and provide a continued livelihood to local farmers and suppliers.
“DBP has always been supportive of the initiatives of our local industries that benefit not just the local community but promote the country as well through their world-class products,” Herbosa said.
DBP is the seventh-largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy – infrastructure and logistics; micro, small and medium enterprises; environment; social services and community development.
Project Honeycomb involves the manufacture of banana flour as well as coconut sugar which HSI has been producing since 2010 and is planning to ramp production to nine metric tons (MT) daily, from the current 12 MT monthly, through the use of advanced technology and modern machinery.
The banana flour component is a start-up initiative that would have an initial capacity of producing five MT a day using bananas sourced from HSI’s own farms and similarly classed harvests of other Cavendish banana-producing companies.
DBP Senior Vice President for Southern and Western Mindanao Lending Group Ana Marie E. Veloso said the project assures a more sustainable livelihood for local coconut farmers amidst the fluctuating prices of copra in the international market.
She said HSI is eyeing to ship the sugar and banana flour products to the export markets, with the company expecting to earn more than $10-million in gross revenues.
“On another note, the products of Hijo are also considered as healthier alternatives to regular processed sugar thereby contributing immensely to the nation’s efforts to combat and control non-communicable diseases such as diabetes,” Veloso said. (PR)