The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) granted a P645-million loan to expand the banana flour and coconut sugar manufacturing facilities of Hijo Superfoods, Inc. (HSI).
The bank’s credit support to “Project Honeycomb” of HSI, a start-up unit of the Hijo Resources Group, would boost its export products and provide livelihood for local farmers and suppliers, says DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa.
“DBP has always been supportive of the initiatives of our local industries benefiting, not just the local community but promoting the country through their world-class products,” he explained.
Project Honeycomb manufactures banana flour as well as coconut sugar, which HSI has been producing since 2010.
The project will increase its production to nine metric tons (MT) daily, from the current 12 MT monthly, using advanced technology and modern machinery.
The banana flour component is a start-up initiative initially capable of producing five MT a day using bananas sourced from HSI’s own farms and similarly classed harvests of other Cavendish banana-producing companies.
For local coconut farmers now suffering from the fluctuating prices of copra in the international market, the e project means a more sustainable livelihood, noted DBP Senior Vice President for Southern and Western Mindanao Lending Group Ana Marie E. Veloso.
HSI plans to export both sugar and banana flour products to gross ovet $10-million revenues.
“The products of Hijo are healthier alternatives to regular processed sugar, contributing to the nation’s efforts to combat non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes,” Veloso added.