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Philippine banana poised for entry into US market

Stored under Caption This!GamesMiscellaneousNewsRecipesRelated EBay AuctionsReviewsVideosVisual Stimulation on December 27, 2007

AGRICULTURE Secretary Arthur Yap on Monday said the US Department of Agriculture has assured the Philippines of the speedy processing of the pest risk analysis for local bananas.

Once approved, the US will allow the entry of banana, a high-value commodity into the American market and will boost the country’s export earnings by $6 million yearly.

"The Philippines is a leader in banana production and creating a new market would aid the livelihood of farmers in Mindanao where much of the exports are sourced," Yap said.

He added that opening Philippine bananas to an important market such as the US will send a positive signal to small Filipino farmers to diversify into high-value crop production.

In his bilateral meeting with Acting Secretary Chuck Conner of the USDA in Washington on November, Yap had identified bananas to the American official as the Philippine commodity that should be given priority by the US officials in conducting its pest-risk analysis on potential products for imports.

Yap said Conner then assured him that the USDA would move to expeditiously conduct the pest risk analysis for Philippine bananas.

The description of the US Food Safety System explains that "science and risk analysis are fundamental to US food safety policymaking. In recent years, the federal government has focused more intently on risks associated with microbial pathogens and on reducing those risks through a comprehensive, farm-to-table approach to food safety. This policy emphasis was based on the conclusion that the risks associated with microbial pathogens are unacceptable and, to a large extent, avoidable; and that multiple interventions would be required throughout the farm-to-table chain to make real progress in reducing food-borne pathogens and the incidence of food-borne disease."

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