The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now conducting regional consultations for the crafting a five-year roadmap to “save” and develop fully the Philippine mango industry.
“The Philippine Mango is known all over the world as the best mango there is. In fact, in Mexico and Cuba, Mango Manila which obviously was acquired by the two countries during the days of the Galleon Trade, is reputedly the sweetest in those countries,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a Facebook post.
“Unfortunately, just like the other blessings showered by mother nature on this country, the Philippine mango has been taken for granted and its potentials in uplifting the lives of poor farmers in the countryside largely ignored,” he added.
While the demand for mango continued to increase, the DA chief said Philippine mango production has drastically declined over the years.
“We are losing out to India, Thailand and Cambodia,” he said, citing claims by mango industry stakeholders.
Citing data from the Philippine Mango Growers Association, Piñol said national production has dropped from one million metric tons every year to only 400,000 MT last year.
Contrary to Piñol’s claim, however, the latest report by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed mango production remained afloat with more than 814,000 MT produced in 2016.
The report also showed that the country was only able to hit one million-MT production in 2003, and was not able to repeat the feat.
The first Regional Mango Stakeholders Forum was scheduled on August 2 in Davao City, Cebu City on August 7 and Pangasinan on August 18.
“At the end of the regional consultations, the DA will craft a five-year roadmap which is expected to bring back the Philippine mango to its glory, the reputation of being the best tasting Mango in the world,” he said.