DA, DTI cite other banana uses to further the industry’s growth PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 14:13

Leaders have stressed on the other uses or products that can be derived from banana in a bid to further the growth of the industry.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, in a press conference conducted during the opening of the 12th Davao Trade Expo (DATE) at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Convention Hall on Friday, said the use of banana as extender to various food products can greatly help enhance the industry’s growth.

“Ang paggamit ng saging bilang extender ay napakalaking bagay. Halimbawa nito ay ang paghahalo ng saging sa sinaing (The use of banana as an extender is a big thing, like mixing it in cooked rice),” he said.

On the other hand, Department of Trade and Industry-Davao City Field Office (DTI-DCFO) director Teolulo T. Pasawa said the introduction of Pinoy fries in the world market is another innovation that can boost the banana industry.

“Pinoy fries, which is actually made of saba variety of banana, ay pantapat natin sa French fries na gawa sa patatas (is equivalent to French fries from potatoes),” Pasawa said.

Pinoy fries are being produced by Sagrex Foods of renowned local businessman Ferdinand Y. Maranon.

In January of 2005, Maranon registered the banana fries with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the microwavable frozen ripe banana two months after. Both products were regarded as the “firsts” in the world which means that anybody or any company who would like to sell the products should initially ask permission from Maranon.

Last February 23 to March 5, 2007, the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) Davao spearheaded the trade and investment mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with the support of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) local government, Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), Mindanao Business Council (MinBC), and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, inc. (DCCCII).

Maranon was with the 14-man delegation.

According to Maranon, the KSA mission has given him so much opportunity especially that the country is home to 1.4 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

To date, the Pinoy fries, along with the microwavable and honey glazed saba banana, are gaining popularity not only in KSA but also in the United States, Canada, and the rest of the Middle East. Among the other potential markets for these products are Japan, Korea and Australia.

Both Alcala and Pasawa are hoping that more banana derivatives will be produced soon.