Small banana growers seek gov’t help in raising prices
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Small banana growers still recovering from typhoon Pablo have sought government’s help in the pricing of their bananas, which they say are bought at an unusually low price, compared to the prevailing price of bananas in the world market.
Sonny Manigo, vice president for external affairs of the Federation of Compostela Valley Banana Growers Association and Cooperatives, said export companies in Compostela Valley have been buying their bananas at the 2001 level buying price of US$2.60 per box, when prevailing prices in the world market have reached up to US$9 to US$11 per box.
“We are all victims here, and we are still trying to recover from the devastation of typhoon Pablo,” Manigo said during the dialog with Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala with banana growers and exporters in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley on March 6.
“We’re asking the government to help us achieve a ‘conscientious’ price for our bananas from exporters,” Manigo said.
Manigo said most of the small growers were forced to sign the contract with banana exporters at the old price because they were so desperate after typhoon Pablo. But now, they’re hoping government could do something to allow them to sell their bananas at a “justifiable price” to help their families recover.
“As small growers, we have no one to turn to except the government,” Manigo said.
Although a representative from Sumifru, one of the major banana buyers and exporters in the province, said during the forum that the company has been buying bananas at US$3 to US$3.36 dollars per box, Manigo, a Sumifru banana grower, said this has not been put in black and white, and that the company was still buying their bananas at the 2001 level of 2.36 dollars.
“We welcome that announcement from Sumifru that they’re already buying bananas at US$3 to US$3.35 dollars, but it’s not yet in black and white, I hope they can implement that pricing very soon,” Manigo said.
Agriculture Secretary Alcala said he was going to look into the problem of small banana growers.
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