Philippines is among the top five producers of fresh bananas in the world. Our fresh bananas are exported mostly to Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, as well as the Middle East. That is why banana is the country's prime fruit commodity in terms of their commercial value and the size of the area they are planted.
Yet banana is still considered a small-scale industry where varities like Saba, Lakatan and Latundan are planted in planted or along the periphery of the farms. This naturally generates a minimal production. The country would be able to capture a bigger share of the market if only it will able to produce more.
In line with this, there were a number of research and development (R&D) that were undertaken to increase production to help farmers, developing technologies can be applied to small-scale farms.
A three (3) hectares area of science and technology (S&T) based farms were established in 2005 in Batangas and Cavite, undertaken by for private entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs were selected to adopt the S&T-generated technologies that was recommended for the production of bananas. These entrepreneurs have set aside personal funds to pay laborers who worked in the various cultural management activities using a portion of their own land which they have allotted for the project.
The package of technologies that were applied included proper field management practices, use of disease-free planting materials, deleafing, desuckering, use of propping materials, proper harvesting handling, proper time of harvesting, packaging materials and transport facilities.
A feasibility study was also done in 2005 which aims to showcase the profitability of investing into Lakatan production. A Banana Investment Portfolio has been drafted by PCARRD to promote the banana industry. This portfolio includes the profile of the industry, the package of technology in Lakatan production, details and highlights of the feasibility study, management of pests and diseases, planting materials sources, potential market and possible credit sources.
PCARRD stands for Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development and is one of the five sectoral councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It serves as the main arm of DOST in planning, evaluating, monitoring and coordinating the national R&D programs in agriculture, forestry, environment and natural resources sectors.