Packinghouses to enable farmers to meet international standards
Small banana growers in Davao del Norte now make it big in the international market.
This came after the Department of Agriculture in Region Xi (DA-XI) turned over standard packinghouses to banana farmers’ association in the province. The facility aims to enable small banana farmers to meet the phytosanitary standards required by international markets.
In a turnover ceremony held Friday (November 24) in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, the following received the rehabilitated packinghouses: Joselito Rabino of Brgy. Kimamon, Sto. Tomas worth P1.6 million, Rolly Rada Sr. of Sampao, Kapalong worth P1.6 million and Paul Jeffrey Cabasa of La Libertad, Sto. Tomas worth P1.7 million.
Recipients of the new standard, clustered packinghouses were Rey Bayoneta of Semong, Kapalong worth P2.7 million, Davao Free Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DFFMPC) in Brgy. Bobongon Sto. Tomas, worth P2.6 million and Kinsan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Kinamayan, Sto. Tomas worth P2.5 million.
DA-High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP) coordinator Melani Provido said the Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association Inc. (MBFEA) choose the recipients who are also their members.
"DA is pleased to partner with MBFEA in extending assistance to the small banana farmers in the region. These [packinghouses] will boost the banana industry in Davao region to produce good quality bananas for export," Provido added.
For the industry to take advantage of the ASEAN economic integration, Provido said stakeholders must consider three factors: promote competitiveness through improved quality of bananas, higher productivity, and strong organization among stakeholders.
Recalling the rejection of China on the Philippine produced banana, Provido said, "We will see to it that we can produce good quality bananas especially exporting to China. Having these standard packinghouses will help us meet the standard maximum residue level (MRL) as required by other countries."
Provido added that DA committed to support the banana industry since this is the dollar earner commodity in the region.
Eusebia Delos Reyes, former MBFEA president urged the beneficiaries to work hand in hand with DA to provide quality bananas.
She also advised them to allow small banana farmers to use the packinghouses.
"Let us also show to the DA that we can upgrade the quality of our bananas and we truly deserve the project they have turned over," Delos Reyes said.
Sab Alquino Sr., chairman of DFFMPC considered the project a "miracle" from heaven.
He assured that they will take good care of the project and they will forever be grateful to DA.
"You give us [small banana farmers] hope. We will take good care of this project and pass it on to the next generation," Alquino said.