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PIA Press Release

DICCEP helps banana growers find new markets

by Jenny Molbog-Mendoza

Davao City (11 November) -- Initiatives of the banana industry cluster were successful in finding new markets for the banana produce of the Davao Region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 reported.

The DTI 11 Regional Office revealed that the implementation of the Banana Industry Cluster Pilot Project under the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (DICCEP) has opened up opportunities for the local banana industry.

The DICCEP, which is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is an initiative that promotes public-private partnership and aims to provide technical and institutional capacities for the eight identified priority industry clusters in Davao Region, namely the banana, mango, coconut, wood, seaweed, mining, tourism, and information and communications technology (ICT). DICCEP has ended last June but sustaining activities are being undertaken by the Cluster Teams.

The DTI 11's report for the first semester of the year showed that as an outcome of the DICCEP Country Focused Training Course in Japan attended by the Banana Cluster Technical Working Group last year, the the Diamond Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DARBMUPCO) of Panabo City supplied the Federation of ARB Banana-Based Cooperatives (FEDCO) fresh lowland Cavendish bananas early this year for the latter's Japanese buyer. These bananas filled two 40-footer vans containing 1,134 boxes. Each box contains 13.5 kilograms and sold to Japan at US$10 per box.

Furthermore, local banana producers are linked to a new market ? the Middle East. FEDCO will initially ship three 40-footer vans of fresh Cavendish bananas to this new market. The group's participation to the trade mission in Taiwan last June 22 to 24 brought about this opportunity.

An initial agreement for the supply of fresh Cavendish bananas was also negotiated by the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) with FEDCO. Final buying price for this particular agreement is still under negotiation.

During the last week of October, DICCEP assisted Sto. Tomas Banana Industry Cluster Association (STOBICA), through the intervention of FEDCO, has started to export their fresh bananas using the brand "STOBICA" to China.

With these latest developments, banana-based companies in the region via clustering reported an export sale of US$4,969,676.82.

DTI 11 Regional Director Marizon S. Loreto said the agency will do its best to ensure that these achievements will be realized and sustained.

"Various cluster initiatives are being done regularly, not just for the continued development of banana but as well as the other industries," she said. (DTI11) [top]

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