Tag Archives: bananas

BARMM lures investors to 5,000-hectare banana farm area

COTABATO CITY – Model banana farms are soon to sprout in about 5,000 hectares in a special geographic area (SGA) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in North Cotabato province.

VENTURE. RBOI-BARMM Chairman Ishak Mastura (left) and BTA Parliament Member Suharto Ambolodto (2nd from left) show the MOA they inked with local investors over the weekend for the establishment of a 5,000-hectare banana plantation in Kabacan, North Cotabato. The plantation will be set up in adjoining villages under the BARMM in Kabacan town. (Photo courtesy of BOI-BARMM)

Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – BARMM Member of Parliament Suharto Ambolodto said Tuesday the project aimed to alleviate the lives of farmers and to encourage more local businessmen to pour in capital.

“This activity is mainly to look upon the opportunities of local entrepreneurs to invest here since they would be investing for the future of our Bangsamoro people,” he said.

The SGA comprises the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato that opted to join the BARMM during the two-part plebiscite held in January and February 2019.

Ambolodto said the signing of a memorandum of agreement with local investors further bolstered the endeavor with the initial set up of a banana plantation in a combined 5,000 hectares of farmlands in villages under the SGA in Kabacan.

Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) – BARMM Chairman Ishak Mastura said his office would facilitate the farmers’ link to the investors in terms of profit sharing and other concerns.

“We also need to link the farmers to local investors, not only in the government programs or services but also to private sectors that would give them direct assistance to start-up investments immediately in our region,” he said.

In a separate statement, RBOI Board of Governor Mohammad Pasigan said their office has been reaching out to farmers and local investors to expose them to investment opportunities in the region.

“The RBOI has even helped them connect to the tie-up ‘Harvest Program’ of Japan International Cooperation Agency and Land Bank of the Philippines that could fund both farmers and local investors on livelihood assistance through very reasonable forms of loan,” he said.

Local investors who signed the MOA were Engr. Kaiser Usman of Usman Banana Plantation in Matanog, Maguindanao and Datu Jabib Guiabar of Kabacan.

To drumbeat the initiative, both businessmen encouraged other local investors to do business in the region and help uplift BARMM’s economy.

“We are expecting to plant Cardava banana in the SGA to a farmland area of some 5,000 hectares,” Guiabar said. (PNA)


P950-M banana investment eyed to help revive industry

 April 19, 2021

COTABATO CITY — The Regional Board of Investments of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-BARMM) has approved the registration of Al Muzafar Agriventure Inc. (AMAVI) that would pour in PHP950 million worth of investments in the region’s banana industry.The firm, also… Read More

Davao trade industry posts $462M


The trading industry of Davao City is headed to a bright direction registering US$462 million in both exports and imports in 2013.

Based on the 2013 economic situationer and outlook for Davao in 2014 furnished by the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), although export figures rose by only 1.3 percent, imports however almost doubled from 613 million US dollars in 2012 to 1.1 billion US dollars in 2013. This resulted to a balance of trade value of 2 million.

shippingBanana remains as the number one export dollar earner for both the city and the region outsmarting other traded commodities like coconut oil, rubber, desiccated coconut and pineapple both fresh and canned.

Top import commodities on the other hand, include mineral fuels/mineral oils, fertilizers, cereals, miscellaneous chemical products and plastics.

DCIPC chief Ivan Chin Cortez said figures of the city’s trading industry are sourced from Bureau of Customs. 
Japan remains the number one destination of Davao products for two decades registering the highest on export value of 425,476,820 US dollars in 2013.

China follows as Davao biggest buyers with export value at 208,761,352 US dollars. Netherland came 3rd and Korea 4th. The United States which used to be the 2nd biggest buyer in the last two decades came in 5th last year, Cortez said.

The other top ten biggest buyers of Davao’s products are: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Iran, and Switzerland. [PNA]

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Bukidnon eyeing province-wide moratorium on plantation expansions

By Mel Velez

   BUKIDNON – There is now a snowballing move towards a province-wide moratorium on expansion of mono-crop plantations in Bukidnon.
     The Bukidnon provincial government is about to adopt a moratorium on issuance of permits for expansion of pineapple and banana plantations following the move of the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia, according to Provincial Administrator Provo B. Antipasado.
    Pushing the issue farther, Antipasado said the provincial board resolution on the moratorium may also be pushed for adoption by all the Bukidnon municipalities.
    The cities of Malaybalay and Valencia, which were swept by massive floods recently, passed the the measure to prevent forest denudation that causes flashfloods blamed on the plantations. The municipality of Maramag is the third local government unit to have passed a resolution on the moratorium, said reports.
    The members of the provincial board are looking at ways to introduce this resolution to municipal councils so they could help protect and preserve their ecosystems, said Antipasado, who admits plantations have expressed opposition to the moratorium.
    The multi-national Del Monte Philippines, which runs the biggest pineapple plantation in Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro and other large-scale growers have yet to make a statement on the moratorium.

Panama Disease remains a threat to Davao banana industry

Panama Disease will continue to be a scourge to the local export Cavendish banana industry in the Davao Region, its devastating effect to hound plantations during this decade.
Cavendish is a major export of the Davao Region.
Despite efforts to arrest the deadly plant disease by the Department of Agriculture and banana growers, Panama Disease which at one time crippled the banana industry in Indonesia and Malaysia and in Latin America, remains widespread in the banana plantations in the Davao Region, said Rene Dalayon, president of the Federation of Banana Cooperatives in Davao (Fedco).
Fedco is a federation of 16 banana-growing cooperatives in the Davao Region.
We can no longer control it. It’s embedded deep into the soil of many banana plantations in Davao, Dalayon told Davao City-based business reporters.
Panama Disease attacks the terminal roots of the banana plant, killing the plant in a matter of weeks.

If the disease is not contained, Dalayon said the Davao Region could go the way of Northern Australia where Panama Disease wiped out almost the entire industry in five years, despite that country’s technological advances. ROGER M. BALANZA


DAR, court order immediate installation of Madaum CARP beneficiaries

A Davao City Regional Trial Court has lifted a permanent writ of injunction it earlier issued in Civil Case No. 33,537-2010, Lapanday Foods Corporation vs. Jerome Amulata, etal, paving the way for the final distribution of 236 hectares of CARP land to 296 beneficiaries in Madaum, Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
The order of RTC Judge Omelio dealt a final death blow to legal moves by Lapanday Foods Corporation to prevent the distribution of the land to the beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Land Reform Program (CARP).
The Omelio order is the second victory for the Madaum CARP beneficiaries
In an Order issued in June 21, 2010 by Regional Director Datu Yusoph Mama, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)  regional office in the Davao Region ordered the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Davao del Norte or the designated DAR Sheriff of Davao del Norte to “immediately re-install and place, without delay, in physical possession and actual cultivation the 296 petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et al., over their petition their partition share of 236.8020, and thereafter, to ensure that they be maintained in peaceful possession and cultivation thereof, and also to cause the conduct of segregation/subdivision survey on said lands; and they may call upon the assistance of the police and/or military personnel in the implementation and enforcement of this Order.”

Lapanday Foods opposed the DAR order and filed a case in the regular court questioning jurisdiction of DAR over the case in a bid to stop the implementation and enforcement of the DAR order.



“Hereby ordered is the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Davao del Norte or the designated DAR Sheriff of Davao del Norte to “immediately re-install and place, without delay, in physical possession and actual cultivation the 296 petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et al., over their petition their partition share of 236.8020, and thereafter, to ensure that they be maintained in peaceful possession and cultivation thereof, and also to cause the conduct of segregation/subdivision survey on said lands; and they may call upon the assistance of the police and/or military personnel in the implementation and enforcement of this Order.”

DAR XI Regional Director
In Decision dated June 21, 2010 in DAR Case No. A-1100-0303-09

In a decision issued on April 26, 2011 by RTC Judge Omelio, Lapanday gained a victory. In the decision  Judge Omelio ruled that ” the DAR regional director, inclduing the PARO and even the DAR Secretary, have no jurisdiction over the petition for partition of CLOA No. 00398239 registered as TCT No. C-10507. ”
“The assailed 21 June 2010 Order and the 25 August 2010 Resolution in DAR Case No. A-1100-0305-09 is hereby declared as NULL and VOID. The Writ of preliminary injunction issued in this case is hereby likewise made permanent.”
Lapanday’s victory however was brief.
Jerome Amulata, et al., questioned the decision, and ended up with Judge Omelio reversing his decision, in his Order issued on September 11, 2011.
In the latest Order, Judge Omelio set aside his decision of April 26, 2011, and ordered the lifting of the permanent writ of injunction.
In reversing his earlier decision, Judge Robillo ruled that ” the implementation and enforcement of Comprehensive Land Reform laws is vested with the Department of Agrarian Reform headed by its Secretary and under its line agencies….which are entrusted with the regulation of activities, particularly agrarian disputes and ancillary problems coming under its special and technical skills, knowledge and training of which other government deparments are without expertise.”
The batle has been won, and what is left is the implementation of the decision of DAR dated June 21,  2010.
The story of Jerome Amulata, et. al. and their battle to recover their land is a story detailed in the decision of DAR XI regional director Dartu Yusoph Mama:
The lands subject matter of the petition consist of 570.2060 hectares, more or less, of commercial lands primarily devoted to production of export quality bananas, and located at Madaum, Tagum City, Davao Del Norte. These commercial lands, including the standing crops (bananas) and improvement found thereon, were covered and acquired by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government pursuant to Republic Act No. 6657 ,and eventually redistributed to 724 Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries (ARBs), as evidenced by Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No.00398239, issued under Transfer Certificate of Title No. C-10527 and registered on 18 December 1996. The valuation of these lands and standing crops (bananas) and improvement found thereon was finally determined by the Honorable Supreme Court in the case of ‘Apokon Fruits Corporation (AFP) and Hijo Plantation Inc. (HPI) versus Landbank of the Philippines (LBP)’ under G.R. No. 164195, February 6, 2007.
In December 1996, these 724 ARBs formed their agrarian reform benefeciary cooperative, Hijo Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries Cooperative (HARBCO). After a two-year transition period, on or 28 December 1998, they formally entered into a Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement (BSMA), an agri-business venture agreement of contact growing, with the former operator owner of the subject lands, Hijo Plantation Inc. (HPI), whereby the cooperative (HARBCO) with its members-ARBs as laborers-farmworkers sell the export quality bananas produce thereon to their buyer, HPI, at an agreed price per box for a period of ten years, or up to Dcember 31, 2008.
Disgruntled with the execution of the BSMA, a sizeable number of these 724 ARBs spearheaded by herein petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et. al., being identified as the NO GROUP, sought to physically partition these 579 hectares of co-owned lands by taking physical possession and actual cultivation of portions of these lands in January 1999 over the vehement objection and prostation of HARBCO management, being the YES GROUP, and the buyer, HPI. Protracted and violent clashes ensued resulting to the deaths of two persons and to the physical harm, injuries and wounded of several ARBs and security guards. Judicial, quasijudicial and administrative actions were also pursued by the stakeholders on these lands. In May of 1999, herein Jerome Amulata, et. al. were ejected from their possessed areas and were never allowed to work in any portion of these lands, until in 2004, when they were able to regain their standing in their Cooperative,  and were allowed to work on the subject lands as farmworkers.



The desired partition is economically feasible and viable. The Department of Agriculture, through the Provincial Agriculturist of Davao del Norte, and the Land Bank of the Philippines, through its Regional Officer II of Davao del Norte, have favorably recommended for the partition of these 579-hectare collectively owned lands. The lands after partition shall remain to be principally devoted to production of export quality bananas. Greater productivity is attainable and achievable over the lands after partition since the lands, even if parcellarized or subdivided into individual lots after partition, the lands are susceptible of individual farming system. the partitioning petitioners as well as the other HARBCO members-ARBs have the ability, capability and willingness to cultivate and make lands productive sice they have been working and cultivating on these lands since 1970s, and continously thereafter when these lands were covered, acquired and awarded under the Comperhensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) pursuant to Republic AcT No. 6657 in 1998 by the Department of Agrarian Reform in their favor. No legal impediment nor proof of facts was ever aduced in the records of the instant case which would negate partition of these collectively CARP-awarded and owned lands. Thus, the mandatory requirement of determination of economic feasibility and soundness of partition of this commercial farm under Section 17 of DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1998, as amended, has been complied with. Finally, partition is lawfully ecognized under Executive No. 229 which states- ‘ Section 14. Collective or Individual Ownership. For lands with multiple benefeciaries, collectively or individually, at the option of the benefeciaries, provided, that in collective ownership, each benefeciary shall have an undivided share of the land held in common equivalent to not more than the applicable retention limit. The benefeciaries may collectively decide on the continued operation of the parcel/estate as a whole or to subdivided the same into individual lots and determine the manner in which such subdivision is to be implemented. “

DAR XI Regional Director
In Decision dated June 21, 2010 in DAR Case No. A-1100-0303-09


CSR is serous businesss for Unifrutti

 CITY of VALENCIA – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business credo that Unifrutti Philippines is not taking for granted.

CSR means pumping back to host the community part of profits of a company.

In the case Unifrutti, fund for community upliftment is coursed through the Unifrutti Foundation.

God is at the center of our CSR, said CSR manager Gaelle Trueggelmann. Sharing our blessings with people is our motto, she said. She adds that her company’s CSR is effective because her officer consults people about their needs before the company extends assistance.

Unifrutti is one of the country’s biggest producer and exporters of Cavendish bananas and pineapples and operates in Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Davao del Sur.

Our thrust is to help people in our area of operation through a sustainable CSR that would impact on their lives, said Trueggelmann.

Unifrutti is the mother company of Mt. Kitanglad Agricultural Development Corp., Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Venture Corp., Wao Development Corp. and Prinetines Meadows Development Inc. MEL N. VELEZ


 PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.73, August 8-14, 2011