Are the small industry players ready to meet the demand of mangoes worldwide?
Governor Hilario P. Davide III posed this challenge in the 17th Mango Congress held at the Cebu Grand Convention Center last Oct. 27.
The Philippines’ mango products have caught the attention of European countries in addition to the traditional markets in Japan, Hongkong, United States, and Korea.
Davide said the government and the mango farmers should work together to meet the demand and sustain the industry’s quality.
The governor was not around during the Congress because of the Mega Cebu Leader’s convergence at the office of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
His message was read by Provincial Agriculturist Officer-in-Charge Dr. Roldan Saragena.
“It is vital to remember that small holders are the central players in the whole mango production scheme. They are the backbone of rural economies and often major contributors to national food export markets,” said the governor.
Around 300 farmers from across the country attended the event.
This year’s Mango Congress carried the theme, “Bracing the ill effects of climate change thru empowered mango industry associations.”
Philippine Mango Industry Foundation Inc. President Virginia Dela Fuente said the small holders are the most vulnerable against the fury of nature.
She added that several issues confront the mango industry today. This includes flowering management, the regulation of chemicals and introduction of organically produced mango, logistics, and extreme low price.
Dela Fuente hoped to find solutions to these problems in the two-day Congress with the help of the national government agencies.
Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 Director Angel Enriquez expressed his support to the industry, saying that even in Brunei dried mangoes are in demand yet the supply is very low.
She informed the mango farmers that she already collaborated with the National Economic Development Authority on how to help the mango industry in the region.
“I am interested to bring back the maximum production level of mangoes in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City,” she further stated.
Enriquez also read the message of support of DA Secretary Proceso Alcala who failed to attend the Congress due to a prior commitment.
Alcala considered mangoes as the most important crop in the country in terms of popularity and earnings. He also considered it as a national fruit.
Dr. Saragena said Cebu ranked third in mango production in the country next to the provinces of Zamboanga and Pangasinan in 2013.
However, typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated the mango plantations in northern Cebu in November 2013.
Cebu is also identified as the biggest manufacturer of dried mango products in the entire country.