MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol steps in to resolve the row between Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (TADECO) and Provincial Government of Davao del Norte due to the planned demolition of the former’s three plantation biosecurity facilities along El Canto road, in a meeting held today at TADECO Road, Panabo City.
“Problem has been resolved. Governor Edwin Jubahib agreed to diffuse the situation by heeding the request of President Rody Duterte, and Senator Bong Go to settle the problem amicably,” Piñol announced.
He further stated that equipment sent by the Provincial Government to destroy the barricades against Panama disease-infected banana farms in the said road were withdrawn already.
“Also, a local court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), but even before the TRO was issued, the Governor already relented,” he emphasized.
Last 7 October, Governor Jubahib agreed with the request of Secretary Piñol to hold in abeyance the scheduled demolition until officials of the two entities have met.
TADECO Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Zeaus Vadil said that the supposed demolition by the Provincial Government is part of road clearing operations, following the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s 60-day order to local governments to clear and reclaim public roads.
On the other hand, Vadil explained that the purpose of the biosecurity facilities is to protect the plantation from the fast spread of Fusarium wilt-infected banana farms, which are just across the El Canto Road where the facilities were established.
“Fusarium wilt is just within our backyard. From the highway to the back of the El Canto road, once you cross that entire deep, you will see all affected banana farms,
banana trees [have been cut down]. It is just a stone’s throw from our farm; it is just across the street,” Vadil explained.
Vadil also shared that the removal of biosecurity measures such as foot and tire baths for “road clearing” means risking TADECO of being infected by the Panama disease.
TADECO is one of the country’s largest banana exporters, managing about 6,000 hectares of banana plantation yielding around 28 million to 30 million of bananas annually, which are all shipped abroad. TADECO alone accounts for at least 11 percent of the country’s total cavendish exports reaching 3.4 million metric tons last year.(PR)