LEYTE, April 29, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program turned over 1,200 banana suckers of Lakatan variety worth Php 57,600 under FY 2021 fund to the Daro Integrated Farmers Association (DIFA).
The 31 DIFA members conducted a pintakasi (community shared effort) to get the job done because of great potentials of said fruit in the market and value-adding opportunities. It targets to complete the planting of suckers within a 3–hectare contiguous area in a month or less.
The association chose to engage in Lakatan production because of its easy marketability, bright prospects for local export in the future, and a high return on investment according to a three–year cost and return analysis done by the Bureau of Plant Industry in 2016.
Further, the locality is known for its pleasant weather, highly desirable flat terrain, and well-drained, loamy, soil rich in organic matter, which is suitable for banana cultivation.
The beneficiaries are hopeful that in 12 to 15 months, they will reap a bounteous Lakatan harvest and benefit from the project.
About the banana industry
Banana is one of the leading and most economically important fruit crops in the country today and the only locally–grown fruit available year–round. It is a consistent top dollar earner with promising prospects in the domestic and foreign markets.
The Philippines is among the top three banana–producing countries in the world, following India and China (FAOSTAT, 2012).
The most popularly planted varieties are Cavendish, Saba, Lakatan, Latundan, and Bungulan. They are grown for different uses and purposes, such as table dessert, snack foods, banana chips and crackers, etc. ###
Writer: Floriel A. Royo, Area Coordinator II, PPMSO–Leyte
Reference: Definite and Favorable Income in Banana Production, Department of Agriculture High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), 2/F BPI, Malate, Manila.