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PIA Press Release
2007/09/21

Gov't urged to address Mindanao agri-market concerns

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (21 September) -- When the government initiated the shipment of Mindanao fruits for disposal at the Metro Manila market, the business sector noted that such move was one stop-gap where excess production of agri products would land to other domestic markets in the country rather than the fruits go to waste.

BIMP EAGA Business Council chair Vicente Lao said government really has to come in and there are lots of concerns affecting Mindanao agriculture that must be addressed.

He said government also must look into mechanism to shorten the gap between the producers and the market.

The fruits were sold in supermarket and groceries to include the big shopping centers like SM, Robinsons and others.

The Department of Agriculture meanwhile also brought to Bagsakan Centers fruits coming from Mindanao as support to farmers.

The scheme was inspired by the supported activity of the Mindanao Fruit Council where it sold 1.4 metric tons of durian in just two hours in the Quezon City Circle last week.

Durian was sold at P80 per kilo lower than super market prices of P130 to P150 per kilo.

The fruits including mangosteen, rambutan, marang and lazones were sourced mainly from Davao City, Kidapawan City and North Cotabato.

The DA has already opened in Metro Manila 9 bagsakan centers and 13 barangay food terminal (BFTs).

DA is projecting two million beneficiaries from the BFTs as it will set additional units in Metro Manila, the other regions and the country's economic zones.

The BFTs are partly funded by the Japan Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers, also known as the 2KR grant which aims to benefit Filipino farmers living below the poverty line. (PIA XI) [top]

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