DA Davao, growers to sharpen competitiveness of mango as export commodity

July 2, 2009 10:16 pm 

DAVAO CITY, July 3 -– The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the local mango growers associations in the Davao Region are now balancing the production, regulatory and marketing activities to increase its production and enhance competitiveness of mango as export commodity.

Roger Chio, DA regional director, said his office, mango growers association and the provincial government of Davao del Sur have already established the extended hot water treatment (EHWT) facility at the Provincial Agriculture Office for the local industry to increase production and improved quality of their mango produce.

Chio said DA records showed Davao Region has a total of 18,137 hectares of mango farms.

“It is appropriate to put up the EHWT facility in Davao del Sur since it has the largest area planted to mango in the region,” Chio said.

He said through the EHWT which controls fruit fly and anthracnose infestation, Davao del Sur farmers can expand to larger markets like China including the local markets within the country.

He said DA Secretary Arthur Yap reported that the industry has scored significant achievements amid the challenges of bad weather and pest and disease, enabling the industry to contribute P19.8 billion to the country’s total agricultural value, and exported 32,000 metric tons of fresh, processed and dried mangoes worth 40.7 million dollars to 48 countries worldwide.

“It is therefore prudent and necessary for stakeholders, from farmers, traders, processors to exporters to continuously improve the quality of Philippine mango by employing modern, efficient, environment-friendly and sustainable practices, from the farm to various market destinations, so we could maintain our distinction as the source of the best and sweetest mango in the world,” according to Yap.

Chio said mango ranks third as the most important fruit in the country in terms of volume of production and area after banana and pineapple.

Through the DA-High Value Commercial Crops (DA-HVCC) program, the government is now investing and mobilizing resources to attain its nine-point mango industry program. This includes provision of chemicals for flower induction as well as training of farmers from production, pest management to postharvest handling, he said.

In training farmers, he said an integrated approach will be covered to ensure that even at the farm level they have the necessary requisites to produce higher yields of the best possible quality.

He stressed that in meeting stringent requirements of the global markets, national regulatory services will be also enhanced including certification systems and pest risk analysis and food safety.

To ensure availability of high quality planting materials, DA-HVCC is also supporting existing nurseries in maintaining scion groves and planting materials, he said.

On the other hand, he said postharvest facilities such as packinghouse and extended hot water treatment facilities will be established through organized mango farmers associations.

DA will also deliver timely market information to farmers and facilitate all the linkages they require to make fruit farming profitable, productive and globally competitive. It will also tap research and development to generate better mango farming technologies, he added. (PNA) FFC/DDB/lvp

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