Iligan City hosts 10th National Mango Congress
Iligan City (August 6) -- The mango industry is a rising star in the agricultural and economic development of Mindanao and the country, thus, it deserves the full support of the government and non-government organizations, said Mayor Lawrence Ll. Cruz.
The mango industry involves difficult and complicated processes, from site selection and planting of seedlings, up to the time the product reaches consumers. Technical knowledge and industry updates are thus most essential for each industry players. We aimed at developing our agricultural potential, one of which is the growing of mangoes, and being the co-host with the Mango Growers Association of Iligan City (MGAIC), in the 10th National Mango Congress held in our City, we would contribute in some way towards "Proficiency on Mango Productivity, Quality and Profitability in the Global Market," said Cruz.
In her opening statement Erlinda N. Halibas, MGAIC president and Congress Manager, said that the 3-day National Mango Congress at the Elena Tower Inn, Iligan City, is looking forward to convene to share their successes and failures, that some of their concerns will be addressed, more support from the government will be tapped, and more linkages will be developed for the success of this industry and the mango growers alike.
The presence of the delegates especially coming from Luzon and Visayas manifests that there is nothing to fear in going to Iligan. "We have a beautiful and peaceful place to live in, and I am encouraging the participants never to leave Iligan without seeing that majestic waterfalls-the Maria Cristina Falls and other tourist destinations in the city," said Halibas.
She added that as of the morning of the opening day, there already are more than 200 participants and the number is expected to grow over the following days. Participants coming from the six regions of Mindanao made up the bulk of the attendance.
Meanwhile, Virginia I. De la Fuente, President of Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc. (PMIFI), revealed that until three years ago since she hosted the Congress on its 5th National Mango Congress held in Cebu, it seemed that there was nothing much done to address the major issues and concerns besetting the mango industry. However, starting last year we made some achievements. She said that the government and the private sector, through the National Mango Action Team and the members of the PMIFI, have recognized that the five basic parameters to attain more productions are: soft credit access, insurance, technology, logistics, and industrial harmony and teamwork.
She further said that within this Congress' sessions, it would present again the credit program of the Land Bank of the Philippines on their collateral-free 180-day term fruit production financing program through mango cooperatives or associations as many mango producers in Mindanao in particular are not still aware of the said program. "We have also negotiated with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) thru its Region 7 Office to cover fruit production risks and no less than its president shall present their insurance program. We have also the father of mango flower induction technology, Dr. Ramon Barba who shall give an update on his invention," de la Fuente further said. However, our ultimate goal of mango production proficiency and profitabilty shall be in vain if our mango stakeholders will not strengthen their industry sub-groups- mango growers/producers/contractors, exporters, processors, and even the suppliers. As one strategy, the mango growers shall form municipal or cluster associations to avail the credit program of the LBP and to market t heir produce efficiently, added de la Fuente.
De la Fuente disclosed that they have acknowledged the fact that there is a staggering demand of our Philippine carabao mango for exports and the demand is growing very fast. Therefore, they request the government through DA to give mango industry their serious attention and they, in the private sector, shall put upon themselves the challenge of producing two million metric tons by year 2013 to generate more export revenues, added de la Fuente. (PIA Iligan) [top]