VOLUME OF CAVENDISH BANANAS DECLINED AFTER FARMERS ABANDONED FARMS
DAVAO CITY– Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association (MBFEA) managing director Gladys Garcia discloses that volume of production of Cavendish bananas has declined after a lot of banana farms have been abandoned due to the persistence of panama disease.
“As far as I know because a lot of farms have been abandoned last year the volume of cavendish really went down,” she said.
She said farms were abandoned in Sto. Tomas, Kapalong and Asuncion and even in Panabo in Davao del Norte because of the fusarium wilt that multiplies especially during flooding.
“I don’t have the number of the hectares abandoned because some even with Panama they continue planting because there is resistance variety the problem lang I think with some of the resistance variety (Cavendish) there are some market that are not into it like China does not like the fruit of resistance variety looks like. They see it’s like a local Chinese banana and they don’t also prefer the fruit of the resistance variety,” Garcia said.
She said there are a lot of buyers coming in who want to buy cavendish bananas but unfortunately they cannot supply because they don’t have enough volume.
Garcia said a lot of MBFEA members are expanding in areas where the panama disease is not yet widespread.
“We cannot expand in Davao del Norte areas anymore because of the disease. We have to expand and to exercise quarantine procedures so that this disease will not spread particularly in provinces where this disease is not present,” she said.
She said not only the small and medium farmers but some of the multinational companies also abandoned their farms because of the disease. She also said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is helping them by distributing the resistant varieties of Cavendish bananas to plant in fusarium dominated areas.
She said if this will not be addressed a lot of farms in Davao del Norte will be abandoned.
“For the first quarter of this year we have heavy rains binaha ang Davao del Norte. Kung may baha the disease easily spread all over the place. The industry is threatened by panama disease. We still don’t have any technology to combat the disease,” she said.
Garcia assured that Cavendish bananas have good market In terms of market particularly from China, Russia and Asian countries.
“Our association represents the small medium banana growers and exporters and about 85% of our volume goes to China that is why in terms of market we don’t have a problem,” she said.
To raise awareness on the contribution of the cavendish banana to the local economy particularly in the Davao Region, MBFEA will be holding its 2nd Fun Run on April 14. The fun run also aims to raise funds to help put up one classroom in the Lumad area in Sto. Tomas Davao del Norte.
MBFEA is an association of independent banana farmers and exporters.