A community-based banana processing facility will soon be established to boost an Isabela town’s local banana industry, information coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA) revealed.
The Bayanihan II law provides for the setting up of a banana processing facility in Barangay Panang, San Agustin.
“Aside from carabao’s milk, cacao, and coffee, banana is also one of the best products of San Agustin…it’s not only our farmers who will benefit in this project but also those workers who were hit hard by the pandemic,” San Agustin Acting Mayor Larry Mark Lloyd Guerrero said.
“This is an answered prayer,” he said of the DA project.
The project will be implemented through the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) under a P5.5-million budget. A groundbreaking ceremony for the facility took place last April 13.
It is expected to be completed in June 2021. After this, the Isabela Coffee and Cacao Farmers’ Association (ICCFA) will take over the operation and maintenance of the processing facility.
ICCFA President Juliet Guieb vowed that their group will exert more efforts to produce quality spinoff products from banana like chips, vinegar, catsup, wine, etc.
They will also participate in trainings on food processing, proper food handling, and other necessary activities to improve their products, Guieb said.
“We have to be urgent in the implementation of this project to provide [for] the urgent needs of our people. With your help, let us work hand in hand so we can hit our target and achieve our main goal, to increase our farmers’ productivity and income,” Regional HVCDP focal person Carol Albay said.