Iloilo aspires to be top mango producer


Iloilo aspires to be top mango producer

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (10 May) -- Recognizing the great potential of mangoes in the international market, the Ilonggo farmers and mango growers are urged to gather their acts together and address the issues on production technology and quality production standards demanded in the world market.

Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr. of the Department of Trade and Industry Iloilo provincial office made the call as the preparations for the forthcoming 8th National Mango Congress slated May 7-19, 2006 at Amigo Terrace Hotel, Iloilo City is underway with hundreds of mango growers in the country expected to attend the event.

Iloilo province ranked number seven only in the overall scenario of mango production in the country. According to Director Cadena the province of Pangasinan is leading the mango industry with some 300,000 metric tons mango production output a year, " while we are only producing one tenth or around 30,000 MT a year production output of the said province".

"We have the good climate and the soil and we have the capability to do it if we gather our acts together to make the industry a major contribution to our economy in the country," Cadena said during the press conference with the Iloilo tri-media.

Chairman Ricardo Provido of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council- Western Visayas, said during the press conference that there was an opportunity recently with orders between five to twenty tons of mango fruits per week for the Middle East, but was not materialized because "we do not have the quantitative volume necessary to penetrate the market right now".

"The Guimaras province which is supposed to be known worldwide for its mango products but it can not be found in the list of mango producers due to its insignificant volume of production," Provido said.

According to the data shared by the Iloilo Provincial Agriculturist's Office, there are about 2,378 hectares planted with mango trees. The data further said that there are only 197,374 mango trees that are fruit-bearing.

Chairman Provido hinted that there are already a lot of inquiries from the investors from Davao and " hope that they do joint venture with the Ilonggos to make the mango industry stronger in this part of the country". He further said that a lot of this kind will be discussed during the 8th National Mango Congress.

Director Cadena on the other hand said that in order to put Iloilo in the map of mango industry not only in the country but in the whole world "we should have more mango plantations".

With its theme "Enhancing the Global Competitiveness of the Philippine Mango," the event will focus on: Status and Directions of the Philippine Mango Industry; Mango Propagation and Field Establishment; Improved Cultural management for Bearing Trees; Investment Forum for Western Visayas; Improvement of Food Quality for Export; Post-Harvest Handling of Mango; and Fruit Processing and Marketing Systems. (PIA) - - Diosdado Cadena Jr.