SAGREX Foods Inc. is planning to expand its banana processing plant in the region to double the shipment for frozen turon and bananas intended for the export market.
Ferdinand Marañon, Sagrex CEO and also president of Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), said they already acquired a property in Panabo that is targeted to open by the first half of next year.
“There is a need for us to expand the facility given the demand of banana to the market,” he said. “We have already expanded the reach of the banana market in US, Canada, two countries in Europe, and as well as in Middle East – Dubai.”
Sagrex has managed to extend the perishability of bananas through blast-freeze technology,
Currently, the Philexport has one plant in Barangay Tibungco, Bunawan District.
Marañon added that if they expand their facilities here, they can double the banana sales in two or three years’ time.
Last year, the Philexport president said, they have sold more or less P3 billion bananas in the export market.
He also said they are also eyeing to process more of the saba-cardava variety, which commands a higher price in other countries because of the demand. However, he said, the raw materials may not be enough to sustain their requirements “given that there are no big farmers for the saba-cardava variety in the city.”
In the city alone, the maximum number of areas being planted is about 20-30 hectares.
Marañon further added that they are hopeful that the banana growers would plant more of the saba-cardava variety given its demand for export.
“We are really encouraging farmers to plant more of the variety, even though there are varieties out there planted by small farmers which come with different sizes and color,” he said, adding that they wanted to be consistent with the quality they are exporting.