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Friday, October 22, 2021

Lingering El Niño threatens bananas

INSTALLATION of irrigation systems in the region have been prioritized by banana growers with the announcement by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) that the El Niño is foreseen to last until June 2016.

In an earlier report released by Pagasa, it stated there is a 90 percent chance that the El Niño will last until the early part of 2016 — March, April, or May — and a 70 percent chance that it will last until around June or July.

Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Inc. (Pbgea) director Stephen Antig said on Tuesday that they are currently working out to continue producing bananas of quality even with "strong" drought which have started last May, 2015.

Antig also added that the Department of Agriculture (DA) have not yet extended their help to the growers to mitigate the effects El Niño.

"Baka iniisip ng DA na kaya na namin and we do not need their help. Although in the past, we have coordinated with them to conduct a series of cloud seeding," he explained.

However, the group of banana growers and exporters in the region are still hopeful to receive any form of help from the government as they are currently experiencing financial burdens with the added tax and low demand of bananas in the world market.
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