Rains stunt Mindanao mango production | Inquirer News

Rains stunt Mindanao mango production

/ 11:50 AM August 12, 2011

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The “wet and wet season” being experienced by the country during the past three years slowed down Mindanao’s mango production by more than 30 percent, mango industry officials said.

Fred Dumasis, president of the Sarangani Federation of Fruit Industry Associations (Safia) said that since 2008, Mindanao has not experienced really favorable weather for mango production.

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Mango trees bear more fruits during the dry season.

“(But) there has been no clear dry and wet season. There is only wet and wet season,” Dumasis said here on Tuesday.

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Virginia de la Fuente, president of the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc. (PMIF), said the unstable weather since 2008 lowered mango harvests in the entire country to only about 670,000 metric tons per year. It was 970,000 metric tons per year before 2008, she said.

The Philippines, according to a 2004 report by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, is ranked seventh among the world’s top mango producers. Philippine mango exports generated more than $60 million for in 2004.

De la Fuente said the erratic weather has affected the productivity of the country’s mango orchards—estimated by the BAS estimated at 158,000 hectares—and reduced the income of 2.5 million farmers and their families.

She said to increase production, farmers have to spend more these days “to induce mango trees to enable them to bear fruit.”

The problem is one of the major topics for discussion during the 13th Mango Congress in Glan, Sarangani province from Sept. 28-30, De la Fuente said.

While the mango industry’s outlook was dismal because of lowered production, the coconut industry, especially in Southern Mindanao, received a shot in the arm.

On Wednesday, the Maryland-based Trasian Development Llc., a major supplier of composite wood, announced its plan to put up a coconut shell processing plant here.

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Steve Traylor, Trasian chief operating officer, told reporters the plant located either in the Tibungo or Lasang areas. Construction is to start in December.

He said Trasian aims to use coconut shells in the manufacture of the company’s composite wood boards.

Aside from Trasian, the Philippine Coconut Authority’s office in Southern Mindanao said three more dessicated coconut plants will rise in the region, which consists of the three Davao provinces and Compostela Valley, within the year.

The plants, according to PCA regional director Lornito Orillaneda, represent a combined investment of P52.3 billion in the coconut industry.

Orillaneda said the plants were expected to generate 500 jobs.

“Aside from the three desiccated plants, a company is also planning to operate a virgin coconut oil (VCO) plant in Panabo City projected to generate about 100 employment opportunities,” Orillaneda said.

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TAGS: Agriculture, Business, Coconuts, Mangoes, Weather
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