Mindanao commits all-out support for banana industry
TAWI-TAWI, Philippines - The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) said convergence is very important in effectively addressing challenges being faced by banana industry in the country's south.
MinDa Secretary Luwalhati Antonino declared strong support to the formation of the first-ever banana development council in the island-region.
“In the same way that we created the country’s first river basin councils in Mindanao to integrate all watershed and river basin management, so should you create a similar council for the banana industry,” Antonino said.
She encouraged both big banana corporations and small banana farmers to create and fortify cooperation in the industry.
Antonino added that coordination with government agencies must also be strengthened so that all stakeholders may collectively resolve problems and issues.
The local banana industry has recently faced problems that have greatly affected the banana farms in Mindanao including the outbreak of the Fusarium wilt disease, the decrease of Philippine banana exports to China which was allegedly due to pest infestation issues, and the resulting oversupply in Mindanao that led producers to try on looking for new markets in other countries.
Antonino said that convergence of efforts from both the private and government sector have established that problems may be resolved.
She explained that this was the strategy that resulted to Mindanao getting a bigger share in the national budget.
Antonino noted that, under the 2012 National Expenditure Program (NEP), budget for Mindanao increased by 33.62% to P219.10 billion in 2012 from P163.98 billion in 2011.
From the P1.816 trillion total national budget for 2013, five out of 6 regions in Mindanao will get more than 40% increase in their budget allocation.
“It bears to point out that in terms of national allocation for the economic sector, which include budget for agriculture, Mindanao received a whooping increase of 300%, from P4.7B in 2011 to this year’s P20B, accounting for 32.4% of the national total,” Antonino said.
Antonino said that the government is very optimistic that this convergence will provide a better future for the banana industry in Mindanao. - Rappler.com