The sun rises for the lowly Philippine mango. Just a few days after the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced the country had a surplus of two million kg of mangoes from the recent harvest, a Japanese fruits importer said it was buying 100,000kg of the tropical fruit from the Philippines this season.
Diamond Star Corporation, which has been operating in the country since 1987, said it was looking to buy a huge volume of Carabao mangoes in the country last week – in time for the launching of DA’s mango marketing programme on Monday.
“The Japanese company has been importing papayas, pineapple, mango, bananas and even turnips from the Philippines . . . It signified the intent to buy mangoes through Philippine agriculture attache to Japan Dr Samuel Animas [last week],” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said on his Facebook page.
“The DA will arrange a meeting between the Japanese importers and the mango farmers of Luzon,” he added.
The deal also came five days after President Duterte went to Japan to seal trade agreements. The country expects to get nearly 300 billion pesos ($5.78 billion) worth of investments from the visit.
Local mango growers have complained of low prices since the onset of harvest – dropping between 14 and 16 pesos per kg. Farmer leaders said these rates were lower than their production cost.
Due to the unanticipated oversupply, the DA arranged a series of selling events for Philippine mangoes dubbed as “Metro Mango”, the first of which would be held in the Bureau of Plant Industry office in Manila.
DA director for agribusiness and marketing Bernadette San Juan said bulk of the produce would be coming from Ilocos, Zambales and Nueva Ecija. Select farmers from Mindanao and Eastern and Central Visayas were expected to join. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK