Pangasinan gov to mango producers: Improve production to penetrate export market
By Danny O Sagun
Lingayen, Pangasinan (24 February) -- The Philippines may be No. 6 in mango production in the world but only six percent of the produce penetrates the export market.
Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. raised this point Wednesday in his address to the 12th National Mango Congress at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center gym which gathered some 600 delegates from all over the country to discuss and adopt measures to improve the mango industry.
Espino said 90 percent of the export was fresh mangoes. "With only six percent of our total mango production being exported, we still have the big potential to export more fresh mangoes and an even greater potential to export more mangoes in processed form," he said.
Noting that the country managed to capture a very small share in the global export market because of very stringent quality standards being imposed, Espino urged the mango stakeholders ? growers, traders, processors and exporters - to aim for "improved production efficiencies thru the principles of economics of scale."
In the absence of large-scale mango plantations, the only way to reach optimum supply levels for mango processing is to engage in greater inter-provincial cooperation, he said. Big mango producers like Pangasinan, which produces 38 to 40 percent of the total mango production in the country, should set up more mango processing plants, he added.
"We must also promote the use of organic farming as an indispensable means to upgrade the quality of our local mangoes and eventually satisfy, if not even surpass, the very rigid standards of the foreign market," he stressed.
Dr. Rene Rafael Espino, who represented agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, agreed saying it is "imperative for all industry stakeholders to continuously improve the quality of Philippine mangoes thru the use of modern, efficient, environment-friendly and sustainable practices, from the farm to various market destinations."
He said that during these trying times the players need to optimize productivity, capitalize and build on advantages in the export markets and produce the carabao variety which is considered the best or sweetest in the world.
The export market is projected to grow 10 percent this year with the United States, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as primary import markets, with Spain emerging as a "more important market player in the future."
Mango harvest reached 771,200 metric tons last year, lower by 13 percent over the 2008 production but nonetheless allowed the industry to contribute some P18.1 billion to the country's total agricultural value, Espino, who is national program coordinator for the GMA high value commercial crops program of the DA, said.
"Together, let's build a stable, sustainable and globally competitive mango industry, one that is capable of addressing the demands of both domestic and world markets now and in the future, and one that abides by the highest standards in the world," he said.
The three-day meet will feature lectures, demonstrations, workshops as well as product presentations. The delegates will be treated to a tour to various tourist spots in the province after the gathering. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]