Today is: Mon, May 20, 2013
Mango output pushed
KORONADAL CITY -- Farmers in Central Mindanao have been urged to plant more mangoes in a bid to boost the country’s production and increase the local fruit’s competitiveness in international markets.
Fred L. Dumasis, president of the Sarangani Federation of Fruit Industry Associations, Inc., said in a statement here over the weekend that his group will discuss mango production potentials of the region during the 13th National Mango Congress scheduled to be held in the town of Glan, Sarangani province on Sept. 28-30.
"We would like to highlight the Soccsksargen Region, especially Sarangani province, as a viable location for off-season mango production," said Mr. Dumasis, whose group is the congress’ lead organizer.
Soccsksargen, also referred to as Central Mindanao or Region 12, consists of the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, as well as the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Kidapawan, Koronadal and Tacurong.
Mr. Dumasis explained that the region’s vast land area and favorable climate "make it an ideal location for year-round mango production."
Hence, it could host critical support services such as hot-water treatment and vapor heat treatment, as well as packing plants.
"Through the conference, we hope that our local mango growers will be encouraged to expand production and improve quality, and consequently, help boost our industry’s exports," the statement quoted Mr. Dumasis as saying.
Themed "Positioning the Philippine Mango Strongly in the World Market," the congress specifically aims at helping local producers better understand and comply with the quality requirements of foreign markets which include Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea.
The conference will also showcase areas in Mindanao that have the potential to become mango production areas, update farmers on the latest production technologies, and share best production practices among industry stakeholders.
Mango production in Central Mindanao increased to 44,413.44 metric tons (MT) last year from 42,229.16 MT in 2009, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed.
Around 500 growers, processors, consolidators, exporters and ancillary service providers from across the country are expected to attend the three-day event, the statement said further.
The congress will also feature plenary sessions on the prevailing industry situation, emerging market trends, logistics, and government support programs.
To cap the event, conference delegates are expected to propose action plans to the National Government.
Such proposals will focus on how industry players and relevant government agencies can improve cooperation and coordination to ensure the mango industry’s continued growth and expansion.
Philippine mangoes have gained a foothold in the Asian market.
The country is the biggest supplier of fresh mangoes to Hong Kong, accounting for 39% of the latter’s mango imports in 2003, data released by USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao showed. The Philippines is also a major supplier of mangoes to Japan, accounting for almost 63% of that country’s fresh mango requirements. The Philippines also exports mangoes to South Korea, mainland China, Singapore and the United States. -- R. S. Sarmiento