PH banana firm gets financial boost from DBP
The Tagum Resources Agri Industries, Inc. has recently signed a $429-million loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as part of the holistic approach to make the country’s banana industry more competitive.
Under the agreement, Tagum, which is owned by Hijo Resources Corp., will promote itself as a poster boy of sustainable farming practices. One way of doing this is to do away with harmful chemicals in its production of Class A Cavendish bananas in its plantation in Trento, Agusan del Sur.
The 455-hectare plantation produces 1.7 million boxes of Cavendish bananas annually. Its markets include Japan, Middle East and China.
The development of new banana areas in Mindanao is giving the industry hope amid tougher competition from other banana producing nations like Ecuador.
The country is also facing diseases like the dreaded banana fusarium wilt, which, if not treated immediately, can wipe out the entire banana industry in three years, according to Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Executive Director Stephen Antig