DA beefs up support for mango farmers

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) is beefing up measures and support systems that would enable local mango producers to grow high quality fruits that would conform with international standards.

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“There is a great demand for mangoes from the international market and DA has been consistently receiving invitations from other countries on how to bring Philippine mangoes into their shores,” Agriculture assistant secretary Orlan Calayag said during the recent opening of the 14th Mango Festival in Quezon City.

In fact, Calayag added they are now talking with Vietnam for opening its market for Philippine mangoes.

“Formal bilateral trade meetings with Vietnamese representatives will commence on June 10, and there are also upcoming negotiations with Indonesia and Middle Eastern countries interested in our mangoes,” he said.

Philippine mango, which is hailed as the sweetest and most luscious in the world, is third most important fruit crop in the country based on export volume and value.

As one of the country’s 20 major high value crops, mango is a major contributor to the growth of agri-fisheries sector in 2014, which grew by 8.43 percent or a gross harvest of 885,038 metric tons.

Manila exported more than 11.2 metric tons of fresh mangoes valued at $16.2 million compared to the 7.886 metric tons worth $13.29 million export in 2013.

Because of mango’s important role in every Filipino’s diet as well as its potential for trade export, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the government is giving attention to food safety component in mango production and utilization to make it at par with international safety standards.

Alcala added that the recently signed implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10611 or the Food Safety Act, will help the government to strengthen the country’s food safety regulatory system, which will pave the way for agricultural products to penetrate local and foreign markets.

“It is not enough to just set the proper mechanisms to control food hazards that might be brought about by globalization of food trade. It is everyone’s responsibility to follow those,” he said.

The DA chief noted the importance of following Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as part of the implementation of the Asean Economic Integration.

“With the free flow of goods, everyone must be vigilant and alert in monitoring the exit of fresh mango and mango products from the country,” he said.

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