Home » Customs & Trade » PH banana exporters seek government subsidy

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) is asking for government subsidy following reduced shipments arising from China’s strict quarantine requirements on all Philippine fruit exports.

PBGEA said any government help is welcome especially now there are reports China will likely source cavendish bananas from Ecuador. The Latin American country subsidizes its local banana producers, noted PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig.

“We hope for the same kind of support from the government, especially during these trying times for the banana industry. This is the time when we need the government support the most,” Antig said.

“While we are at it, other countries are already entering China. And we might lose the market to them.”

PBGEA is actively seeking other markets to take up the slack from China.

The stricter quarantine inspections followed China’s recent discovery of pests in some Philippine fruit exports, particularly bananas.

Philippine fruit exports are now required to go through 100% inspection at Chinese ports of entry. Previously, Chinese quarantine officials only had to check whether the phytosanitary clearance was in order.

With total shipments worth $470.96 million last year, bananas are the Philippines’s second-largest agricultural commodity export after coconuts, according to government data. China is the Philippines’ second-largest banana market after Japan.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said earlier the Department of Agriculture is looking at helping upgrade packaging facilities of fruit exporters to ensure the country’s shipments are of good quality.

Banana Tree by pakorn
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

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