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Davao farmers now complying with China's tough requirements


China is one huge, valuable market with the biggest potential for growth but these days it's causing worries and anxieties of both big and small growers, exporters and farmers in the Davao Region.

“It’s such a huge market for Davao bananas, we can’t afford to lose it now. We have to do something,” Stephen Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc. (PBGEA), said.

Jimmy Estimada of the Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association (MBFEA) said they've began complying with China's new tough quarantine to prevent more losses their members are suffering from China’s sudden move to reject and ban bananas from our country.

“Our farmers are losing so much money from our shipments to China. We don't like to see our fruit rotting at China's ports,” Estimada told reporters here.

Antig said this isn’t the only time Philippine bananas had been held by a country for quarantine reasons. The first time was Australia which refused to accept our fruit because they wanted to protect their own local banana industry from the threat of Panama wilt disease if Pinoy bananas are allowed into their market.

Although China stopped some banana shipments during the last two months after discovering some coconut insects and mealy bugs on some cartons of Cavendish bananas, this problem is now being addressed by Davao banana farmers by cleaning and washing the fruit at the packing plant.

President Benigno Aquino III had only one word to say to Davao growers, farmers and exporters -- DIVERSIFY! He simply told them to find other markets and stop begging for China to lift the ban on our bananas. Many Davao traders agree with him 100 percent on this position. While fixing this little problem, let’s look for other markets!

One market that was suggested was Russia. We got in touch with a local trader here who knows of a Russian buyer looking to buy big volumes of Philippine bananas for shipment to Vladivostok port. They’ve been buying Del Monte, Dole, and Chiquita bananas from both the Philippines and Ecuador and still planning to buy more if you stop supplying China and ship them to Russia instead. This trader gave this Russian buyers' name as Andrei Melnicuic, general manager of Double D Trade at email: or or call him direct at: +1-206-779-7996.

If you want to ship direct to a Saudi buyer, here are two contact addresses in Saudi Arabia you might like to contact: Taufic Al Rammah at Rammah Supermarket, email: or Adel Al Habib of Arabian Marketing at email:

If you want a direct contact to reach buyers in United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran, you can try contacting Sachin Singh of Planet Eagles General Trading at email: or call him direct at telephones: (971) 4-446-1406 or Fax (971) 4-422-6042 or cellphone (63) 906-494-2938.

This guy had been here in Davao before looking for suppliers, most especially small banana grower and exporters with good buying prices to get their regular supply of fresh bananas to feed the eager stomachs of Arabians, Iranians, Iraqis and Jordanians.

Or if you just want an export broker to look around the world for new banana markets for you, you might try to contact Jamil at Goldelyonn Exim Ltd at email:

By Aurelio A. Pena

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