Small Filipino farmers tapped to supply banana to Eastern European countries
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing small banana farmers cooperatives and associations to supply part of the huge market requirements for Cavendish bananas in the Eastern European (EEU) countries, especially Russia.
In a meeting with officials of banana farmers cooperatives of Compostela Valley in Davao City over the weekend, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol emphasized that the EEU market has an estimated 180 million consumers.
In the Russian Federation alone, the market needs 150,000 boxes every week, according to an executive of the Magnit Supermatket, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Russia with 12,500 outlets.
“A group of EEU investors intends to establish a 7,000-hectare banana farm in the Bangsamoro Area. While waiting for the development of the area, however, the group will be buying from small independent farmers to initially supply the EEU requirements,” Piñol said.
During the same meeting, small banana farmers were assured of DA support in consolidating their banana production to access the EEU market. This would include a long-term marketing agreement which would assure them of a market with a fixed price for their produce.