Buy local fruits for New Year feast—DA

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A Filipino vendor measures the weight of a fruit as people make their last-minute shopping along the busy shopping area of Divisoria in Manila on Christmas eve, Dec. 24, 2012. Ahead of the shopping rush for round fruits traditionally served in New Year feasts, the Department of Agriculture urged consumers to buy locally available fruits to support farmers and the country’s food sufficiency program. AP PHOTO/AARON FAVILA

MANILA, Philippines—Ahead of the shopping rush for round fruits traditionally served in New Year feasts, the Department of Agriculture urged consumers to buy locally available fruits to support farmers and the country’s food sufficiency program.

There are locally grown grapes from Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and other provinces, as well as citrus fruits from Central Luzon and Bukidnon, according to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.

However, families may also consider other fruits such as suha (pomelo), guava, atis (custard apple), duhat (black plum), rambutan, santol, melon, calamansi (Philippine lemon), dalandan (Philippine orange), lanzones, chico, avocado, chesa, aratiles (local cherry), mangosteen, pakwan (watermelon), bignay (currant), mabolo, papaya, coconut (buko), granada (pomegranate), lipote/igot/bahag (round black plum), calumpit (small and round black plum), sampinit (Philippine strawberry) and yambo (rose apple).

Non-traditional homemakers might serve round varieties of langka (jackfruit), pineapple, mango, macopa, durian, balimbing (star fruit) and dragonfruit, Alcala said.

“Buying imported fruits is OK. But isn’t it better to celebrate and also support local farmers at the same time?” Alcala said in an interview. Aside from improving incomes of farmers focused on fruit production, buying local fruits would help those who have been growing fruits to supplement their income from other crops or other forms of farming such as livestock and fish farming, the agriculture secretary said. This would help sustain the country’s program to boost overall food production, Alcala said.

The Philippines aims to achieve food staples sufficiency after 2013. The country is currently 97 to 98 percent self-sufficient in palay. As for corn, production currently matches the requirements of the livestock sector, according to the agriculture department. “High-value crops are also getting more attention, including organic growing of vegetables and fruits,” Alcala said.

Alcala assured the public of enough food supply despite recent typhoons.  He projected that the country’s agriculture and fishery sector would register positive growth.

Tropical storm Quinta caused relatively “minimal” damage to agriculture but benefited some areas where growing crops needed rainwater, Alcala said earlier. Agriculture damage due to tropical storm Quinta has reached P124.4 million, according to data from the Department of Agriculture.

Alcala said such damage was comparatively small and yet rains from the tropical storm saved some areas from drought.” There were in fact some areas where the DA had contracted cloud seeding to induce rains for flowering crops but no longer needed such services due to rains from ‘Quinta,'” Alcala said.

Farm output grew 1.93 percent, a slower pace from 4.74 percent in the same period last year, even as fish production continued to slow down. For the whole year of 2011, farm output grew 2.34 percent, or lower than the revised three to 3.5 percent projected by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

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  • Jenise Go David

    Tama yan dapat natin Tangkilikin ang sarili natin Produkto.Magkaisa tayo para sa ating ikauunlad.

  • buttones

    88% of al the fresh fruits sold in this country are actually produced here Mr. DA did you not know that? Wake up ! And might I add, that some of the fruits mentioned are actually not in season at the moment- , jeez , this gets worse day by day, government departments have no idea as to what is going on….

    • ARIKUTIK

      Holiday season is time of mercy for tiny winny absent mind. Maybe the DA is dizzy of hang over that he forget, what’s all about…  HAPPY NEW YEAR !

  • omangat

    Mas masarap yung exploding watermelon from China. Tamang tama pang New Year. Sumasabog!

  • boybakal

    Wow, you really know our local fruits.
    Nice to remember those fruits I eat when I was young, especially from  the mountains.
    Some people might not know
    Kalumpit, my favorite if truly rife, duhat, sinegwelas, you forgot to mention; chico, aratiles, bignay, chesa, kaymito,mansanitas etc etc.

    Our fruits are really that delicious.

  • Your_King

    This is the Aquino Administration’s lone contribution to help the Philippine agriculture sector. They tell people to buy local fruit. Seems like a very basic and generic and lazy kind of help.

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