Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Piñol Graces Mango Forum in Pangasinan

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol graced recently here the second leg of a forum that discussed the Five – Year Road Map for the country’s mangoes amid the alarming decline of the fruits’ production.
Image result for manny pinol mango
Secretary Manny  Piñol. Photo Credit: Rappler.com

Piñol said the forum was a convergence of mango farmers, contractors, processors, and others .
The forum aimed to craft a Five-Year Road Map for the Philippines Mangoes, first launched in Davao City last week, was registration - free where lunch and snacks had been served.
The Philippines used to lead the production of this agricultural premium product in the global market.

“(It) aims to discuss the problems confronting the Philippine Mango Industry which caused national production to plummet to a little over 800,000 metric tons from a high 1.4-million metric tons in previous years. The third regional consultations will be held in Cebu City on August 18 while the fourth will be in Iloilo City before the end of August,” the Agriculture Secretary cited.
Official data says that Ilocos Region, particularly the huge Pangasinan province, topped all the mango producing regions in the Philippines with 59.99 thousand metric tons contributing 55.6 percent to the national total. Central Luzon ranked second with 18.4 percent share while Western Visayas with 5.8 percent.  
 Piñol lamented recently that when he bought the tropical edible fruits its price in Digos City spiked up to P120 a kilo.
“When before the ripe mangoes were sold at 3 kilos for P100, I was shocked to learn that the price per kilo is between P80 to P120. The vendors told me that the prices went up because of the dearth of supply as the mango industry reels from infestation and low fruit production. This is precisely the reason why the Agriculture Department is holding a series of regional consultations for mango stakeholders to address the issues and concerns. The first forum was held in Davao City last week and the next leg will be in Lingayen, Pangasinan on Friday, August 11. Two more regional consultations will be held in Cebu City on August 18 and Iloilo before the end of August,” he cited.
The other problems that haunt the edible fruit for countless of years were the capsid bug and cecid fly in Zambales Province that resulted to poor quality of fruits and premature fruit drops and the decrease in yield in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan due to rainshowers during flowering.
Carabao mango made up 82 percent of the country’s total mango production.
Mango is one of the leading agricultural exports of the Philippines.

Cebu-based businessman Justin Uy, one of the pioneers in the dried mango industry, said the Philippines particularly Cebu exports dried mangoes to 52 countries around the world and is the only Philippine brand carried by Costco, the largest American membership-only warehouse club.
According to worldatlas.com  on its year 2013 figures, India is the No.1 mango producing country in the world with annual production of 18,000,000 tons a year  and accounts for 50 percent of the world's total production of mango.  No. 2 was China with 4.45 million tons, No. 3 was Thailand with 3.14 million tons, No.4 was Indonesia with 2.06 million tons, and  No. 5 Mexico with 1.90 million tons .
Piñol told representatives, who came as far as the Cordillera and Bulacan provinces, that he was a fighter and will commit the resources of his department to advance the welfare of the Mango Industry's stakeholders.
He explained the worth of the huge highways built and to be build under the Duterte Administration’s Build-Build-Build Program when the government could not fund small farm-to-market roads that will connect with these big highways for farmers like those in the mango sector.

“We mull for ten billion peso loans to the farmers. That’s pittance for the seventy billion give away by the government to the indigents on it 4Ps Program. In that ten billion pesos loan the government will be paid by the farmers, say, even five billion pesos while the seventy billion peso from the 4Ps is not paid back by the recipients to the government,” he said.

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