Home » Customs & Trade » Typhoon Bopha brings P6B loss to PH banana industry

Banana plantation in Sto. Tomas, Davao Del Norte. About 30% of the plantation—owned mostly by small- and medium-sized farmers — were damaged by super typhoon Bopha (Pablo) while those located in Compostela Valley were completely wiped out. Photo courtesy of Banana Brothers, Inc.

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) said typhoon Bopha (local name Pablo) has destroyed 10,000 hectares of the country’s 42,000 ha of banana farms, leaving losses of at least P6 billion, association executive director Steven Antig told PortCalls over the weekend.

The amount does not include the estimated P2 billion lost due to damage to infrastructure.

Typhoon Pablo devastated last week many parts of Mindanao, including Davao, the country’s biggest producer of bananas, accounting for about 70% of the country’s total export volume.  The Philippines is the world’s third top banana exporter.

Rehabilitation costs, the PBGEA said, will amount to P500,000 per hectare. At least P5 billion may be needed to rehabilitate farmlands, said Antig.

“We expect government to help, especially the small growers,” he added. The devastation will “really give our competitors a chance to try to get our market share. But we are still confident we will be able to retain our share because of our quality advantage.”

He said the country could, however, lose significant market share, most likely to Ecuador, if it fails to immediately recover from the disaster. This is especially so since the banana export industry is still reeling from effects of the strict China quarantine requirements.

Meanwhile, shipping lines operating in and out of Davao are still assessing the typhoon’s effect on operations .

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