Good agri tidings: Firm focuses on PH; banana woes solved
Two seemingly unrelated events happening hundreds of kilometers apart are painting a rosy picture of the agriculture industry in the country starting with one company’s base in Batangas province and an entire sector in Mindanao.
In Batangas, an agriculture company based in the province but which also maintains subsidiaries abroad announced that it is focusing more closely on its operations in the Philippines and China by disposing of at least P117 million worth of shares in a Hong Kong-based subsidiary.
In a statement, Agrinurture Inc. (ANI) said it had sold all its shares in the Agrinurture HK Holdings Ltd., based in Hong Kong, to focus on Philippine and China operations.
“This will free up more resources for growth of the core business of ANI locally and improve the balance sheet ratios of the company,” said ANI in a statement.
ANI, in the third quarter of 2015, recovered a total of P22.6 million in operating profits, up from P14.5 million in the same period last year.
ANI, its statement said, implemented cost-cutting measures to recover previous losses. A decline in banana prices had contributed to the losses.
Administrative expenses went down to P147.6 million from a high of P244 million in 2014, it said.
ANI started in 1997 as post-harvest manufacturer and trader and is now the country’s top exporter of mango, banana, pineapple and pioneer in coconut water processing.
In North Cotabato, banana growers now have reason to rejoice after a shipping firm committed to accommodate their produce for transport to major markets, including Metro Manila.
Ecclesiastes Roque Jr., regional chair of a group of banana industry players in Central Mindanao, said Boy Jala, manager of 2Go Shipping in General Santos City, has issued assurances to allot at least two units of 20-foot cargo containers each week for banana producers to transport their produce.
Roque said based on a meeting with Jala, 2Go would give priority to independent growers from Kidapawan City.
“We welcome this development,” he said, thanking former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Piñol for brokering the meeting.
“This really relieved us (of the fear of) losing millions of pesos due to shipment problems,” Roque said.
Roque earlier said banana growers in North Cotabato were losing P4 million to P7 million per week due to lack of ships that would bring their produce to major markets.
He said because of the lack of ships, bananas would often rot in ports of origin, like in the cities of General Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
“We saw a glimpse of hope with this development,” Roque said. With a report from Williamor Magbanua, Inquirer Mindanao
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