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PIA Press Release

Major buyer to sign deal at Minfruit Market Encounter

Davao City (25 July) -- A major institutional supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables in Metro Manila and an exporter of carabao variety mangoes recently agreed to purchase a 50-hectare yield of mangoes in North Cotabato province for export.

The signing of the buying agreement by AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) will be among the highlights of the 1st Minfruit Market Encounter, which will be held July 31 to August 1 at the Green Heights Business and Convention Center in Buhangin, Davao City.

Zavier Abella, ANI purchasing officer for fruits, said that the rising demand from the Hong Kong market for mangoes, led the firm to seek help from USAID's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in establishing relationships with Mindanao growers.

The firm, which is also interested in solo papaya, banana and pineapple, has purchased bananas from growers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

ANI is developing new markets in New Zealand, Canada and China, and in Singapore, to which they regularly ship twice a week.

ANI and other institutional buyers will meet with growers at the 1st Minfruit Market Encounter, which will provide a range of market options for producers, showcase emerging fruit commodities, and assist processors and exporters in finding sources to meet their fruit requirements.

The Market Encounter is being organized by the Mindanao Fruit Industry Development (Minfruit) Council with support from the Department of Agriculture, the GEM Program and local producer associations.

Mindanao's emergence as the country's primary supplier of fresh mango for export has enticed processors and supply chain firms to locate in the region.

In 2007, Mindanao shipped approximately 2,000 metric tons of fresh mango valued at almost $3.6 million to foreign markets. The region also exported approximately 2,300 metric tons of dried mango and other dried fruits valued at more than $1 million, and more than 2,200 metric tons of fruit purees and juices, valued at almost $1.3 million.

Abella said ANI is also considering establishing fruit buying centers in key ports in Mindanao, including Davao, to help streamline shipments to Luzon and the Visayas.

The GEM Program, which is implemented under the oversight of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), has been helping to strengthen the competitiveness of the island-region's high-value fruit and vegetable industries, in collaboration with growers' associations and government agencies. (GEM/PIA) [top]

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