War clouds over the Korean Peninsula loom dark as South Korean forces gird for a naval artillery exercise near Yeonpyeong despite stern warning from North Korea that they will consider the move an act of war.
Another “war” though is silently raging in supermarket shelves of Seoul and other Korean cities. It’s the banana war between Peru and the Philippines and the Peruvians are getting the upperhand by reportedly outselling Philippine bananas three to one.
It is mainly due to South Korea eliminating tariff on the Latin American bananas and not to the vociferous “Dirty Bananas” campaign of the National Task Force Against Aerial Spraying (NTFAAS) and the Davao City Task Force Against Aerial Spraying (DCTFAAS) of the Interface Development Interventions, Inc.
A foreign-funded non-government organization, Misireor, earlier claimed that they have convinced the Japanese and South Koreans not to patronize Philippine bananas as “the Philippine export banana industry is not environment-friendly.”
Unknown to the anti-aerial spraying group, all the protocols in the production of Philippine export bananas were provided by the Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare which experts say are the most stringent quality control standards for bananas in the world.
Davao bananeros will be facing a not-so-merry Christmas this year as many are still reeling from recent low prices due to the slowdown of the Middle East market.
“We are supposed to recover this December our losses from the drought early this year but it is not happening,” said Horacio Aldeguer, a banana farmer in far-flung Laac town, Compostela Valley.
The 911 Save Our Sagingan Movement and landowners in 11 Mindanao provinces hosting banana farms are calling on government to put closure to the aerial spraying issue to protect the Philippine export banana industry from lobbyists of foreign interests masquerading as civil society groups.
“There is a clear pattern among these foreign-funded groups to undermine our public and private institutions and disable us from making full use of our national patrimony for the benefit of our people,” warned Aldeguer, a rebel returnee and agrarian reform beneficiary. [DEVCOMPhil]