SF banana industry improves thru PRDP
“We are not just banana growers. We want to be AgriPreneurs,” Joseph Climaco, San Francisco Banana Growers Association (SFBGA) President, said as the group received the delivery truck for their enterprise subproject.
The SFBGA members felt fortunate after the provincial government of Quezon chose banana as one of its priority commodities under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
As a priority commodity, banana is included in the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) of Quezon and this allowed the growers association to be considered for an enterprise subproject.
The 35 members of the association produce 18.47 tons per month during peak season on an aggregated area of 61.6 hectares. During lean season, however, their combined produce is 9.85 tons per month.
These produce are sold to the middlemen that usually control the price. The farmers left with no choice but to sell it to them as they have no access to other markets.
“Our main hindrance in selling our products is the distance of our town to Sariaya and Metro Manila. As much as we want to sell more, we are unable to do it because of the transport cost,” Climaco said.
Through PRDP, the San Francisco Banana Production and Marketing subproject will now let the association act as consolidator of raw banana (saba) fruit for both members and non-members. With this project, they will also become traders that supply banana in public markets located in Metro Manila.
This P3 million-worth subproject will provide the association with a new planting materials, delivery truck, and a warehouse.
Based on the financial analysis of their business plan, farmers aim to raise their income from P6,198, before PRDP intervention, to P38,660 during the first year of business operation. The estimated return of investment is 19 percent while the projected average net income of the enterprise is P3 million.
The group is also targeting to add ten new members to their association every year. “Our group does not yet cover the whole San Francisco. There are still areas with banana growers that have not yet joined us. If they will see the benfit of this subproject, I think they will be inclined to join us now,” Climaco added. ### (Lawrence Albert Bariring, DA-PRDP CALABARZON RPCO InfoACE Unit)