Saturday, 26 May 2012 11:37
Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala yesterday morning disclosed that as of Thursday, the banana export to China have already reached more than 170 containers as he expressed hope this will continue to increase in the coming days.
Alcala said China did not totally ban the entry of Philippine bananas but halted the entry of the product because of contamination.
The Agriculture secretary said Pest Management experts who went to China have also confirmed the veracity of the Chinese government’s allegations of the banana contamination.
Alcala emphasized it was a wakeup call on the banana exporters to double check their products before exporting abroad to avoid losses.
He said three weeks ago, he gave the order to check and double check the bananas and other fruits being exported to other countries and to make sure exporters follow strictly quarantine procedures.
The Agriculture official said from now on, it’s going to be “Zero Tolerance” on all goods being exported abroad.
“Bawal na po kahit konting contamination. We have to really check. Kasi masisira ang buong bansa,” Alcala declared.
Alcala was in Zamboanga City to assist Congressman Erbie Fabian in the distribution of certificates to farmer associations coming from ten agricultural districts.
The certificates entitle the ten farmer cooperatives to each avail a mini rice-cornmill funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of the congressman.
When asked about the status of farmers at the Hacienda Luisita, Alcala said the Department of Agrarian Reform is continuously trying to identify farmers who would like to plant sugarcane and those who will choose to plant high-valued crops.
He said whatever the court will decide on the case, the government will continue to assist the farmer beneficiaries.
Alcala concluded the government will help whatever assistance and other interventions to the farmers through the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and Department of Environment and Natural Resources which were tasked to lend a helping hand under the convergence program.
by: Nonong Santiago
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