P1.5-B additional investment for Mindanao
By Rose Palacio
Davao City (14 January) -- The Japanese-owned Sumitomo Fruits Corporation (SUMIFRU)is will pour in an additional P1.5-billion investments for its expansion program in the country starting this year.
Councilor Pilar Braga, City chair of the committee on trade and industry said the investment is expected to boost agribusiness in Mindanao island and would generate employment of at least 6,000 collateral jobs.
In a courtesy call to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacanang on December 14, 2004, SUMIFRU president Paul Cuyegkeng said the firm’s new investment primarily in Mindanao would benefit some 2,000 fruit growers and employ as much as 10,000 agricultural workers.
Mr. Cuyegkeng told President Arroyo that SUMIFRU is now developing about 4,000 hectares for banana production in their investment areas in Davao City’s southern agricultural districts of Calinan and Toril.
According to Cuyegkeng, the country is third in the entire globe when it comes to banana production, and by 2006, SUMIFRU expects the nation to be second in the whole world.
Since 1970, SUMIFRU has been marketing fresh fruits to Japan, China, Korea, Hongkong, New Zealand and the Middle East. From 2003 to 2004, the firm have already invested P2.1-billion for banana production in the Philippines.
With its long-term expansion program, the SUMIFRU management will work with the local community, teach the people of new trade and transform their communities into booming areas of agriculture, Councilor Braga said.
Councilor Braga said, SUMIFRI has advised the agriculture department of its plan to transfer its central office here in Davao City to develop mango, papaya, asparagus, and pineapple as the Philippines’ top agricultural products, and keep the country’s share in the world market. (PIA-RPalacio) [top]