DA targets at least 1 million kilos of excess mangoes to be sold

MANILA, Philippines – After mango farmers struggled to make profit due to excess supply, the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched a metro-wide marketing campaign to reduce the oversupply by at least half, or one million kilos of the fruit.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Monday, June 10, admitted that while the oversupply provides an opportunity for farmers to sell more, there was a failure on the government's part to help develop the industry sooner. 

To give immediate aid to these farmers, the DA has set up stalls for its marketing campaign in the following areas: 

While the earlier plan was to have the campaign run until Tuesday, June 11, Piñol said it may last until there are no more stocks left.

Citing farmers, Piñol said the oversupply of mangoes happens every 3 or 4 years. For this time, the DA chief said El Niño contributed to the two-million-kilo oversupply since the land was given time to rest due to the drought.

Long-term support

While the DA already finished crafting the mango industry road map in 2018, Piñol said linking farmers with the market remains to be a problem.

"But now with the aggressive program of the AMAS (Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service), we are pushing to link up the farmers [with the consumers]," he added.

The DA will hold a workshop for mango growers in Luzon next week to improve product standards and ensure they pass export requirements, as well as to help farmers process their goods into high-value products.

"We will identify there what the farmers need, like bottling and storage because mangoes are a seasonal crop," Piñol said.

The DA is also working on boosting exports, particularly in Japan where they have dropped from about 7,000 metric tons (MT) to just 300 MT. The drop in exports was attributed to the high chemical residues found in Philippine mangoes.

Despite this, Japanese firm Diamond Star Agro Products already pledged to buy 100 MT of mangoes.

The Philippines also exports around 2 MT of mangoes to Dubai. The DA is also working on getting sanitary requirements to gain access to South Korea and Russia in 2019. – Rappler.com