GOVERNMENT LIFTS LIMIT ON BANANA PLANTATION
MANILA, AUGUST 1, 2009 (STAR) By Iris C. Gonzales - The government has lifted the limit of hectarage for banana export plantation, following the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board.
NEDA said yesterday that President Arroyo recently signed Executive Order 807 which lifted the limit of hectarage for banana export plantation.
The signing of the EO is part of the government’s medium-term goals of developing new land for agribusiness in order to create more job opportunities and strengthen global competitiveness.
With growing global demand, banana has become one of the country’s major export products.
Over the years, the banana industry has expanded its need for resources such as manpower and land, the total area of which eventually exceeded the 26,250 hectares limit set under previous government rules.
NEDA said that the EO would allow plantations to further expand and improve the country’s position in the global export banana industry.
Furthermore, EO 807 also dissolved the Banana Industry Export Committee and mandated the Department of Agriculture (DA) to oversee the export banana industry in accordance to existing land use policies and plans of the national and local governments with due consideration to global market demand and conditions.
The Agriculture department is also responsible for managing the social and environmental impacts of expanding banana plantation areas.
In the 1970s, the government issued Letters of Instructions (LOI) to banana exporters to regulate the production and supply of export bananas. The scheme set the number of allowable export banana plantation areas and allocate the same to only 19 pre-identified growers and plantations.
The issues faced by the export banana producers were initially raised in the NEDA board regional development committee in October 2008.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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