Banana producers want out of Mindanao, stumped by absence of ports
The expansion of big banana plantations to the Visayas is taking a back seat until businessmen are sure of more stable infrastructure.
BusinessWorld reported that banana growers wanted to transfer from Mindanao because of strong typhoons, the dry spell, high taxes imposed by local governments, and the extortion activities of the New People’s Army.
Stephen Antig, executive director of the Davao-based Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc. (PBGEA), was quoted by BusinessWorld as saying that two major banana growers wanted to develop at least 2,000 hectares in the Visayas but were held back by the absence of a port to transport their produce.
Port handling facilities are a major component of the export business, Antig had said.
Antig also said it takes a long time for the businessmen to recover in cases when NPA rebels burn some of their facilities.
As of now, the banana plantation owners are waiting for the next administration’s programs to see if ports and infrastructure projects in the Visayas are among them.