June 10, 2014
DAVAO CITY — Mindanao registered $7.6 billion in export receipts last year, 15% more than in 2012, despite the natural calamities that have hit the island in the last two years.
Luwalhati R. Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, said in a statement on Friday that Mindanaoâ€™s export performance was â€œbullishâ€. This, considering that production had been greatly affected by typhoons Pablo (international name: Bopha) in December 2012 and tropical storm Sendong (Washi) the year before.
The countryâ€™s total exports in 2013 were placed at roughly $54 billion, based on data from the Department of Trade and Industryâ€™s Web site.
â€œWe anticipated a downtrend in some of the regionâ€™s agricultural produce, particularly banana and coconut, because of the typhoon, but on the contrary, banana remained our top dollar earner in 2013,â€ Ms. Antonino said, citing $911 million in exports last year, 45% more than what was shipped out the previous year.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, two months ago, said that the banana industry in Compostela Valley has recovered from the impact of the typhoon as the government, through the Land Bank of the Philippines, provided interventions so small growers could rehabilitate their farms.
However, Ms. Antonino said coconut and palm oil exports last year suffered the impact of the typhoon. Coconut exports during the year went down by 13% to $773.8 million as Davao Oriental bore the brunt of the typhoon. The industry contributed 14.9% of the islandâ€™s total exports last year.
Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon said the province has started rehabilitating its coconut farms, although farmers and owners have been provided with options of growing other crops like rubber, cacao and even oil palm. — Carmelito Q. Francisco