Development of Banana Industry in Davao Region
1946 to 1964
Bananas are the world’s most popular fruits and considered one of the world’s most important staple foods. In 2011, 107.1 million MT of bananas were produced in more than 130 countries for a total trade value of US$9 billion and a retail value of approximately US$25 billion. The export production shares 17% or 18.7 million tons of the total production in 2001. In the Philippines, banana became known in the market when the industry started its commercial export to Japan. However, prior to that date, as early as the precolonial period, banana and its important parts were already documented and served their purpose as food and as material for clothing and shelter. At some point in the Spanish colonial period, banana was considered as luxury commodity only available to those who have the means to buy it. On the other hand, during the American colonial period, banana was already given importance not only as a staple food but also as a traditional crop that could help strengthen the country’s economy. Banana has become one of the major fruit exports in the Philippines. In 2012, banana production in the Philippines was at 9,225,997.97 MT, of which the Davao Region shares 41% or 3,785,421.69 MT while the rest of the country shares 59% or 5,440,576 MT. This study traces the beginning of the banana industry in the Davao Region from the decline of abaca industry post–World War II until the first recorded commercial export to Yokohama, Japan, in 1964. The study used the descriptive-informative design historical procedure.