Written By Manny Piñol – Every year, Mindanao’s vast plantations and farms of the export-bound Cavendish Bananas throw away an estimated 1-million metric tons of rejects.
The rejects are hands or fingers which are either too small or too big for the market standards.
Also included in the rejects are bananas which are blemished during harvest or handling from the farm to the packing houses.
The bananas which meet market standards are packed in 13-kilo cardboard boxes which are loaded into refrigerated containers and shipped abroad.
The rejects are either given out to workers’ groups who feed the bananas to their animals or process these into chips or flours.
Those which could not be absorbed by the backyard processors are just thrown in dumps to rot.
Many of the big banana farms are just too willing to share the banana rejects as part of their CSR projects.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will explore partnerships with groups interested to turn the banana rejects into flour to feed Mindanao’s hungry children.
The program aims to address malnutrition in many rural areas in the island.
(This video footage was taken in the MADC farm of Unifrutti Phils. by Mayette Tudlas, MinDA OC.)