Alter Trade faces challenge over low supply of ‘balangon’

ALTER Trade Corp. (ATC) is currently facing challenge over low supply of “balangon” banana variety due to climate change, its top official said.

ATC president Gilda Caduya said yesterday that frequent changes in weather condition, coupled with typhoons and drought, have weakened the supply of “balangon” for export.

The Bacolod-based alternative trading and marketing company supplies non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) “balangon” to Japan through a fair trade network.

Caduya said that currently, they can supply only about 80 percent of the market demand of Japan, particularly its major stockholder Alter Trade Japan.

“We are supposed to open another market for export in Korea but due to climate change we are having problem in terms of supply,” Caduya said, adding that the unstable volume affects both producers and consumers.

Moreover, Alter Trade is currently assisting almost 3,000 farmers in Negros Occidental, including about 2,500 who are into backyard banana growing and the rest sugarcane farmers who are certificate of land ownership award (Cloa) holders.

It has also partner-producers in Nueva Viscaya in Luzon, Cebu and Panay in Visayas, and Cotabato and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.

Alter Trade records showed that averagely, it can export 2,300 tons of “balangon” in a year especially during the peak of volume. Of the total exported product, 36 percent are sourced from the province. Most of “balangon” supply come Mindanao due to more stable weather condition in the area.

ATC started exporting “balangon” in 1989, two years after it ventured into exporting muscovado sugar.

To address pressing issues and concerns of the “balangon” export industry, Alter Trade has initiated a two-day Balangon Summit held at the Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City, Negros Occidental starting Monday.

Present are local “balangon” growers, consumers’ cooperative members, and trade partners, including representatives of Alter Trade Japan.

Caduya said that through the summit, both farmers and consumers, discussed current industry situations, highlighting respective challenges that will serve as bases for making the necessary resolutions and action points.


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