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March 9, 2008

PHILIPPINES/AGRICULTURE
Banana Growers to review deals with big firms

The Regional Development Council (RDC) of the Philippines will support a move by banana growers with smaller farms in the Davao Region to hold discussions with their partner companies and review their agreements, Philippines News Agency reported.

RDC chair and head of Maharlika Agri-Ventures Inc., Vicente Lao, said that although he would prefer not to hold the talks now that his company is supplying exportable bananas to the international market, "it is high time that big multinational companies should also look at the current market prices".

Maharlika Agri-Ventures, Inc supplies fresh exportable bananas to chain store company Abbar & Zyni for the Middle East market where the demand is about 10 to 20 million boxes annually.

The chain store company's buying price for Davao bananas is US$4.50 per box said Mr Lao, "a price that is very much higher than before and they buy based on the prevailing market price".


However, he added that "prices should be reviewed at specific time intervals now that the market changes. And with the current issue affecting the banana industry I support the small growers".

According to Mr Lao, there are about 1,000 hectares within the Davao Region owned mmostly by farmers from Davao City, Compostela Valley Province and Davao del Norte where they have marketing agreements for the farmers to supply them with certain number of boxes based on the farmer's capacity to deliver.


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