Mindanao group starts exporting organic banana variety to Japan in new scheme
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines — After successfully exporting organic rice to Hong Kong and the Middle East, the Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development (DBFSD) has started exporting banana to Japan after it launched its organic “Balangon” banana variety in Makilala, North Cotabato.
Mayor Rudy Caoagdan of Makilala on Saturday said the launching and export of banana marked another milestone in Makilala’s sustainable development track and an important step towards improving the lives of locals.
With the Balangon Processing Plant in Barangay (village) Batasan located at the foot of the country’s highest peak, the Mt. Apo, the town of Makilala, through the DBFSD, has started exporting banana to Japan and soon to other countries, Caoagdan said.
To date, more than 3 metric tons of bananas have been exported.
“This export breakthrough is under the people-to-people (or P2P) initiative, or a direct marketing arrangement without going through the transnational business interest,” he said, adding that Don Bosco started processing banana and exporting it since August through a partnership with another non-governmental organization in Japan.
An Ilonggo term meaning “throw-away,” Balangon is dubbed as the “wild Cavendish.”
To increase export, a marketing agreement was signed between Alter Trade Japan and Alter Trade Corporation, represented by Ryuta Kuroiwa and Raymundo Tenefrancia, respectively and Don Bosco and Balangon farmers representatives, and witnessed by the Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jerry Pacturan and other local officials.
Don Bosco is also exporting organic “Black Rice” to Europe, Hong Kong and Macau. The NGO is a leading sustainable agriculture technology provider, and assist thousands of rice and upland farmers in the provinces of Cotabato, South Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
There are 39,484 hills planted to Balangon banana, according to Caoagdan.
Supporting the farmers, the Makilala local government supplied more than 20,000 tissue-cultured Balangon banana plant.
With the success of the Balangon banana export, DAR is considering exploring this endeavor with the agrarian reform beneficiaries in Makilala and other towns in North Cotabato.
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