DA to sell 1 M kilos of surplus mangoes

Photo via philstar.com

By Catherine Talavera/The Philippine Star – The Department of Agriculture (DA) targets to sell around one million kilos of mangoes through its metrowide marketing campaign in a bid to address the two million kilo surplus produced by local farmers.

“Within the week, we are expecting to dispose one million kilos. That’s 100 metric tons,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol told reporters.

On Monday, Piñol led the launch of the DA’s Metrowide Mango Marketing program, particularly the TienDA Plus Metrowide Mango Festival, wherein surplus mangoes are sold in different locations around Metro Manila.

“We’re launching this Metrowide Mango Marketing program in the hope that we’ll be able to sell the produce of our farmers to Metro Manila consumers,” Piñol told reporters.

Piñol said farmers estimate a surplus of two million kilos of mangoes following the long dry spell caused by El Niño which precipitated profuse flowering and fruiting this season.

He said the phenomenon happens every three or four years.

“It’s a good phenomenon for us. The only problem was that the farmers were not able to coordinate the expected oversupply and the DA also lacked in monitoring these developments,” Piñol said.

The TienDA Plus Metrowide Mango festival sells fresh mangoes from P20 to P50 per kilo. The stalls are located at the following sites: DA Central Office, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City; Bureau of Plant and Industry, Malate, Manila; Muntinlupa City Hall; Parañaque City Hall; and Waltermart North EDsa, Makati and Pasay.

Piñol said the 15 tons of mangoes sold at the DA Central Office were wiped out in less than three hours after the program’s launch.

“This only proves that the farmers just need to be linked to the market. We will pursue this,” Piñol said.

He said farmers from La Union will send about five tons more of mangoes to be sold at the DA Central Office the following day.

Apart from the Metrowide Mango Marketing program, Piñol also earlier disclosed that Japanese firm Diamond Star Corp. expressed interest to buy up to 100 metric tons of mangoes in a bid to help address the country’s oversupply.

Piñol said Japan is also eyeing to increase its importation of mangoes from the Philippines if the country meets its standards particularly on the minimum residue level (MRL) of chemical.

“From a high of 700 metric tons of mango supply to Japan, we’re down to 300 something because of those issues (MRL),” Piñol said noting that using chemicals is still a common practice among local mango growers.

The agriculture chief added that the Philippines also needs to address the cost of production of mangoes since its higher compared to other countries.

“Next week, we will have a workshop for mango growers of Luzon by cluster. We will tell them how to improve – cost of production, MRL and value adding.

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