MSME taps farmer coops for banana chips processing in Davao Oriental

July 28, 2015 5:40 am 

DAVAO CITY, July 27 — A micro small and medium entrepreneur (MSME) has tapped two farmer cooperatives in the interior barangay of Davao Oriental for banana chips processing.

Jose Endona of Mati City has been into the banana chips business for two years now and he said the market of this product locally is huge, citing Davao City as a captive market.

He named the two cooperatives as the San Ignacio Farmers Cooperative and the San Vicente ARB Cooperative.

"I had already contracted with them their production until December with the San Ignacio Coop at 3,500 packs weekly and the San Vicente Coop with 1,000 packs per week," he said. Both production areas need a total of 45,000 kilograms of fresh bananas weekly and the farmers source the bananas in the mountainous area of Manay, Davao Oriental.

According to Endona, he chose these cooperatives because they are within the source of saba and cardava bananas. He said bananas grown in high elevation are sweeter and of good quality.

"It is the women who handle the production of banana chips and we have standards set such as the use of only mature bananas that come from the mountainous area in their barangay, must be crispy and with less or no oil aside from following healthy and sanitary standards," he said.

Endona said there is now a trend among urban consumers of eating healthier stuff like (banana chips) rather than the junk food.

'I have noticed in the malls that we run out of stocks even before the next delivery arrives," he said, adding that they produce two types of banana chips, the flavored and the unsweetened.

“We have clients looking for unsweetened banana chips as ingredients in serving dishes such as gourmet food in specialty stores and selected restaurants,” he said.

Endono said these two cooperatives were assisted and trained by the government through the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Agrarian Reform as they were recipient of processing equipment also.

Endono, who is also a regular participant of trade fairs, said he will not stop participating because it was also through fair exhibitions that he was able to find clients for the regular supply of banana chips aside from the two big malls here. He was one of the exhibitors of the recently held Exporters' Congress at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier.

Meanwhile, Endono also stressed that there is still room for expansion of production. This year, Endono will be supplying a mall in General Santos City and in 2016, he will start to market products to Manila, Cebu and Bohol.

With the expansion of his market, Endono said he will source his supply from other barangays with tested good quality products. (PNA)

LAP/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

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