THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Shipment of high-value crops from Mindanao to Luzon, Visayas commences

Author: DA Communications Group | 3 September 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with the private sector to assist high-value crop producers in Mindanao with the transportation and marketing of their produce in Luzon and Visayas regions.

The effort aims to facilitate the movement of fruits and help local farmers bring their produce to major markets, provide a stable source of income, and reduce losses in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.

The DA, through its Field Office in Region 11, initiated an agreement between the Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) and John Gold Cargo Forwarder for the initiative.

Under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on August 12, 2020, three shippers will transport 15 tons of fruits from Davao to Manila at P35/kilogram daily from September 1 to October 1. The MOA also states that there will be no off-loading provided that the products will reach the airport before the cut-off time.

On behalf of Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Undersecretary for High-Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña, Undersecretary for Regulations and Infrastructure Engr. Zamzamin Ampatuan welcomed the preliminary shipment of fruits from Davao City on September 1, 2020 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We can call this the durian flight,” Undersecretary Ampatuan said as he noted that the bulk of the initial fruit shipment contains durian.

He added that the flight is solely dedicated to the cargoes unlike in previous arrangements wherein cargo shipments go with passenger flights.

“That’s why we are excited about this because it is an opportunity that will benefit the farmers, producers, and traders. We can serve the market and widen the opportunity for farmers to sell their produce with lower cost for cargo,” Usec. Ampatuan said.

Undersecretary Laviña said that the unloading of the first shipment of fruits will hopefully encourage the involvement of more producers, consolidators, and shippers in using air cargo to transport agricultural commodities.

“There will be more like this not only in domestic flights, but eventually our products will reach international markets,” Usec. Ampatuan said.

Since the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine, the restricted movement of farm and fishery commodities has been a major concern for the agriculture sector.

The DA also partnered with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure smooth and unhampered movement in the food value chain.

In June 2020, the Department of Transportation also issued an order for domestic shipping lines to allot at least 12 percent of the vessel’s cargo space per trip for agricultural and food products. Based on the department order, the shipping lines are also enjoined to extend at least 40 percent discount for the shipment of the said products. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

 

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