Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

DA launches Metro-wide mango fest, supports Philippines’ best

Author: DA-AFID | 10 June 2019

As a quick response to the oversupply of mangoes, the Department of Agriculture (DA) initiated the Metro-wide marketing and promotional campaign dubbed as TienDA Plus Metro-wide Mango Festival on June 10 -11, 2019.

The two-day festival showcases the products from mango-producing areas such as Pampanga, General Santos, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Guimaras, among others. Chef Neneth Tiongkiao Madrona will also hold a cooking demonstration using mangoes as ingredients during the Mango Fest launching at the DA Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Mango Fest is being held simultaneously at the DA Central Office, Bureau of Plant Industry in Malate, Manila, Muntinlupa City Hall, Parañaque City Hall, Waltermart North Edsa, Waltermart Makati, and Waltermart Pasay.

“Within the week, we are expecting to dispose off about one million kilos of mangoes,” Agriculture Secretary Manny F. Piñol said.

Last week, the secretary announced that the mango production this season has increased with an estimated surplus harvest of two million kilograms.

Japanese imports

During the launching of the Mango Fest, the Diamond Star Corporation, a Japanese fruit importing company announced that it would buy 100 metric tons of Philippine mangoes this season.

Aside from mango, Piñol shared that the company has been importing papayas, pineapple, bananas, and even turnips from the Philippines.

Challenges in the mango industry

While Philippine mangoes are widely recognized as one of the best tasting mangoes in the world, the industry faces challenges that the DA will help address.

Piñol identified the high cost of production, which translates to high selling price for mango, as a major concern. “Pagdating sa merkado, ang unang titingnan ng buyer diyan ay yung presyo e,” (When it comes to the market, the first consideration for the buyer will be the price.) he explained.

He also acknowledged the need to comply with the importing country’s standards particularly in terms of food safety through limited use of pesticides. He said, “Japan will be increasing their imports as long as we are meeting their standards.”

Mango technologies

According to the secretary, the application of better technology and good farm practices has been included in the completed mango road map.

In a meeting held today among the DA officials, Luzon mango farmers, and the Japanese importers, Piñol asked the Bureau of Agricultural Research to come up with a mango coating material that will protect it against pests. He also challenged Filipino inventors and fabricators earlier this year to come up with innovations that will improve mango production.

In addition, the DA will organize a Luzon-wide movement to stop the spread of cecid fly or kurikong, which has been a big problem of mango producers.

Spreading good practices

Rosendo Bernabe, a mango farmer from Tanay, Rizal will be tapped to share his good farm practices with other farmers. He was recognized for his good quality mango fruits that have been exported to Japan.

“We are of course encouraging our farmers to go into processing and value-adding. This is the way to go in Philippine agriculture. We must focus on value-adding,” Piñol said.

Philippine celebrity Robin Padilla, who joined the Mango Festival, said that one way for the country to improve its agriculture sector is when the public, especially the consumers, support and patronize the local produce. Padilla committed to help the DA promote and campaign for the agriculture sector through a television program that he will host for free. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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