Philippines banana inspection

The Philippines is stepping up inspections

The Philippines agricultural department has said it would invest in upgrading fruit packing facilities to ensure produce meets import standards.

According to a report by the Philippine Star, agricultural secretary Proceso Alcala said the department was in talks with exporters to determine which facilities needed to be upgraded.

“It looks like the contamination (of exports) is coming from the packaging of small exporters so the best solution is for us to help them,” he said.

The department would provide 450,000-500,000 pesos(US$10,300-11,500)to assist the country’s small-scale operations, he told the newspaper.

The government would make available 50m pesos for the project, with the money coming from the President’s Social Fund.

China has recently begun inspecting 100 per cent of shipments of fresh produce from the Philippines after scale insects were found in a shipment of Philippine bananas in March, the newspaper reported.

Alcala said the department would also ensure fruit exports were thoroughly checked before being shipped overseas.