EO Clinic support requested by: World Bank Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land Global Practice
Requesting activity: Brought to you by Geodata: Responsible Banana Supply Chain
Requesting activity type: Technical Assistance (TA)
EO Clinic relevant Thematic Groups: TG1 (Agriculture), TG2 (Climate Change), TG6 (Forestry), TG11 (Non-EO Information and Analytics)
Work Order number: EOC0027
Work Order status: Evaluating Proposals
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The Philippines is the second largest exporter of bananas in the World with exportations reaching 4.40 millions of tons in 2019. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, banana plantations covered about 454,000 hectares of land in 2012 and 443,000 hectares in 2014/2015. The Cavendish banana is the exported variety of bananas produced in the Philippines, while other bananas and plantains such as the Lakatan and the Sava/Cardaba can be found on the domestic market as a fresh fruit or as processed food. At the national level, bananas are distributed by two types of businesses: large corporations and small and medium enterprises.
Businesses that operate globally have to comply with Environment and Social (E&S) Standards, which are a common requirement in agriculture in order to have access to markets, to obtain financing from investors and to maintain a strong brand and reputation. In particular, countries around the world and especially EU member states are increasingly introducing new E&S legal requirements, in parallel to a rise of consumer demands for responsibly-sourced products.
In the Philippines, there are prevalent environmental and social risks in the banana supply chain, which include deforestation, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change issues, illegitimate land acquisitions and forced labour. To date, only few Filipino banana producers have embarked on sustainability certification schemes. While large corporations in the Philippines possess their own guidance for producing and distributing agricultural commodities and for complying with national and/or international E&S regulations, small corporations lack experience in strategically engaging into the international markets. Their lack of knowledge to comply with the E&S regulations expose them to less opportunities to the international markets.
The Department of Agriculture of the Philippines is trying to bridge the existing gap between large and small groups of corporations, notably through the “Banana Roadmap” strategy plan at the national level. The Department of Agriculture is still working on a paper-based basis, including for the monitoring of various E&S risk indicators identified in the Banana Roadmap strategy report. In support to this initiative, the objective of the World Bank is to provide government, private sector, farmers and other stakeholders with improved information on actual and potential social and environmental adverse impacts for banana production on Mindanao island.
In particular, the present pilot project by the World Bank aims to develop a visualising platform of E&S risk indicators along the banana supply chain, including for small-holder farmers, in the region of Mindanao. Earth observation can help monitoring these risks, by providing information on the extent and intensity of banana cultivation, forest cover change, or vegetation health. This project is part of the DT4D Challenge 2.0, and is linked to the Philippines Rural Development Project (PRDP) led by the World Bank.