Mango congress seeks to save P400-M wastage
By Danny O Sagun
Lingayen, Pangasinan (4 February) -- Pangasinan produces at least one third of the total mango production in the country which runs to almost a billion kilos in a year.
But 10 percent of the province's production just go to waste due to lack of processing and storage facilities, Virginia dela Fuente, president of the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc., pointed out Tuesday during the meeting of the technical working group which tasked to prepare the 12th National Mango Congress on February 24-26 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center here.
Dela Fuente said the activity aims to improve and stabilize the mango industry including growers and other players. She said she is particularly concerned with the huge loss or wastage because of poor handling and lack of facilities. At P10 per kilo, the loss amounts to about P40 million per harvest season.
She said village type processing plants may be put up to help the industry players in the province as she disclosed that there is now a technology that will delay ripening of the fruits. There are three similar processing centers in Pangasinan but they are not being utilized, she noted.
It will be the first time for the province to host the annual congress. Executive Assistant Ramon Morden told the working group that Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr., who, he said, fully supports the project, offered the facilities of the NRSCC for free. The annual congress was held in Bohol last year, while Region 12 is next year's host.
Espino, in Executive Order No. 0003-2010, created the provincial technical and physical working groups in full support to the 12th Mango Congress. The planned activities will include lectures and discussions on technologies as well as issues and concerns affecting the mango industry. Some of the topics to be presented include ethelyn control (delay in ripening), commercialization of processed mango fruit drops and mango rejects, crop insurance, credit programs, soil management, and quarantine protocol.
Also included in the activities is a tour to various destinations in Pangasinan - Hundred islands, Sual power plant, Manaoag shrine, mango farm in Pozorrubio and PTA resort in San Fabian. So far, there were already 250 delegates who confirmed their attendance, Dela Fuente said.
Pangasinan growers have yet to recover from the calamities which struck the province in the last two years. First was Typhoon Cosme in May 2008 which hit hard central Pangasinan. Then came howler Emong a year after battering the western part, followed by typhoon Pepeng which brought massive floods only last October.
The losses to agriculture alone ran to hundreds of millions. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]