The Philippines is facing the prospect of losing a significant share in its banana export markets driving industry and government to find solutions.
According to a report from the Philstar, part of the response is set to be p263m (US$5.4m) in funding for the development of fusarium wilt-resistant bananas and to increase production and quality, announced by William Dar, agriculture secretary of the Philippines.
Darr said action must be taken if the Philippines was to win the “export war” and instructed agricultural attaches in major markets such as China, South Korea, and Thailand monitor the situation.
“I am afraid we are already losing our traditional market share. Given the current situation, our markets still have the disposable income to buy bananas, most especially at this time of a pandemic. There is simply no reason for them not to buy. And yet, the Philippines is losing in the export war. What happened?” Dar said.
“If left unchecked, this will substantially reduce the Philippines’ exports, disrupt trade in the international markets, and cause suffering for banana growers, farmers, workers and their families, which may lead to social unrest.”
According to the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) projected that exports for all of 2020 could be down as much as 20 per cent in from last 2019’s 195.5 million boxes.