Sumary of Group sees flat growth for banana industry:
- The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Inc. (PBGEA) is forecasting flat growth for the country’s banana industry for this year with no new big expansions and investments coming in primarily due to the pandemic and the continued presence of the Panama disease.
- Sad to say, a lot of the big banana multinational companies, instead of expanding in the Philippines, have decided to invest in Latin American countries such as Panama,” PBGEA Chairman Alberto Bacani said during a virtual press briefing organized by the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday.
- Currently, the Philippines is the world’s second top banana exporter after Ecuador, with total value of banana exports reaching $1.9 billion annually, Bacani said, citing data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
- Last year, the country posted its lowest Cavendish banana production at 162.2 millions of boxes of 13.5 kilos.
- Bacani attributed the sustained decrease in national banana production in the last few years on dwindling hectarage to the Panama disease, also known as Fusarium wilt, which has infected banana plantations in many areas in the country.
- He expressed, however, the industry’s optimism over the Agriculture department’s commitment to address the dreaded Panama disease, which includes tapping two universities in Mindanao to initiate research as well as establish a banana research institute in the country.
- According to Bacani, the current areas that are considered “the heart of Cavendish bananas” for being the top producers are Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley while the rest of the supply are coming from Bukidnon, Saranggani and other areas in Mindanao.