DAVAO CITY – The Davao City government will remain steadfast in supporting the agriculture sector to maximize productivity and sustained profitability, especially the banana industry.
Speaking before 500 participants and 60 exhibitors during the Banana Conference 2017 held at SMX Convention Center Thursday, Duterte-Carpio said the city government is working on how to assist the banana industry in the city.
She lauded industry players for their ideas and conduct of business matching to showcase their products in trade fair and remain positive of the exponential growth of bananas toward economic sustainability.
The city mayor noted the significant reduction in banana production in 2016 as reported by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics Office due to last year’s drought.
But Duterte-Carpio is bullish that the Banana Act of 2017, the banana feeding program, the banana technology innovation center, Davao Region will bounce back with bigger and better game plans in industry competitiveness through this top export commodity.
The mayor is optimistic bananas will remain a top export product of the Philippines.
“Banana export will always be a strong suit we can claim, so make use of it as we integrate, innovate, elevate,” she added.
PhilExport XI president Ferdinand Maranon said major concerns need to be addressed like security. He said burning and destruction of banana company assets by lawless armed men have continued.
There are also pests and diseases outbreak, like the Panama disease, which latest figure from the Department of Agriculture showed it has already affected some 15,000 hectares.
Maranon also cited pole vaulting and the concerns of small farmers who lack the capability to address diseases and pests, thus quality of production suffers.
He was also concerned that landholder beneficiaries of agrarian reform are being investigated by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) particularly on agri-venture agreements which is posing anxiety for small farmers.
With the theme’s “Banana Industry moving forward for sustainability”, he said this conference would show them direction and keep them united in tackling issues in the banana industry.
Among the topics discussed are the Challenges and Prospects of Banana Export Business in the Global Market by David Delorenzo, head, Asia Fresh and Worldwide Packaged Foods Business, Itochu Corporation; Structural Reforms for Export Competitiveness, Emmarita Mijares, deputy executive director, Export Development Council; Achieving Banana Industry Competence thru Business Security, by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Department of National Defense represented by Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command.
Other topics included the Technology Breakthrough on Banana Pest and Disease Management, by Dr. Agustin Molina, regional coordinator, Biodiversity International, Asia Pacific Region; Traceability and Product Efficiency in the Banana Value Chain by Dr. Benny Corcolon, vice president, Research, Information Compliance Division, Tagum Development Corporation; Going Industry Stronghold with Land Bank Support by Alex Buenaventura, president, Land Bank of the Philippines; Emerging Markets for Philippine Bananas, Leandro Gazmin, assistant secretary, Department of Agriculture. (Digna D. Banzon/PNA)