Banana farmers in Negros Oriental are undergoing a two-day package of technology (POT) training to increase production and improve quality.
The Department of Agriculture said the training aims to increase the volume of production and improve quality productivity of bananas, and boost the income of the farmers in the province.
Mary Ronville Aba, High-Value Crops Development Program action officer of DA Negros Oriental, said the training is in support to the banana farmers for them to acquire the right technology in ensuring quality produce.
Aba said one practice of the farmers that contributed to low productivity is the non-removal of excess or unwanted suckers from the mother banana plants.
Desuckering or the removal of suckers is recommended to avoid nutrient competition among banana plants and to produce more and bigger fruits.
“Per banana hill, we recommend to have at least three banana plants, or mother banana plant and its two suckers, to produce quality fruits,” Aba said in a government press release.
She said the farmers were exposed to on-field site demonstration with actual bagging, desuckering, and soil sampling, for them to gather direct information on the proper management practices for banana production.
The banana farm is producing the organic banana bulongan variety marketed to Japan and Korea.
Alberto Saga, chairperson of Brgy. 4 in Tanjay City, who is also a banana farmer, shared his best practices on banana production.
Saga expressed his support to the DA and to the banana farmers in the POT training, saying that this will help them in their production and source of livelihood.
He encouraged the farmers to adopt the new technology in banana production.
“This training is really beneficial to us as it enriches our knowledge. I will apply my learning in my banana plantation and share this with my neighbors as this can help us increase our banana production,” Santiago Aguilar, 48, of Brgy. San Jose, Tanjay City, said.
Hilario Mananquil, 71, who owns a half-hectare banana farm in Brgy. San Jose, Tanjay City, said that in his 20 years of banana farming, he never had the chance to attend such kind of training.
He said that, in a week, he can only harvest 7-10 bunches of banana because most were infected with the “bugtok” disease.
“Banana is a good source of money if taken seriously. It requires proper care and handling for it to bear good quality of banana,” Mananquil added.*