En­hanc­ing the coun­try’s fruit in­dus­try

Agriculture - - Contents - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

THE FRUIT IN­DUS­TRY in the Philip­pines con­trib­utes to the econ­omy of the coun­try in a large way, owing to its rich as­sort­ment of trop­i­cal fruits wherein more than 20 dif­fer­ent species are cul­ti­vated in the dif­fer­ent re­gions.

The eight lead­ing species which are grown in the coun­try are ba­nana ( Musa sp.) pineap­ple ( Ananas co­mo­sus), mango ( Mangifera in­dica), pa­paya ( Car­ica pa­paya), cala­mansi ( Mi­cro­for­tunella mi­cro­carpa), durian ( Du­rio zi­bethi­nus), jack­fruit ( Ar­to­car­pus het­ero­phyl­lus), and lan­zones ( Lan­sium do­mes­ticum) – based on the vol­ume of pro­duc­tion.

The pro­duc­tion of ba­nana went up by 2.1 per­cent from 2.10 mil­lion met­ric tons in 2017 to 2.14 met­ric

tons this year, based on a data from the Philip­pine Statis­tics Author­ity (PSA) for the pe­riod Jan­uary-March 2018.

More than one third or 36.7 per­cent of the to­tal ba­nana pro­duc­tion came from Davao Re­gion fol­lowed by North­ern Min­danao with 24.4 per­cent, and SOCCSKSARGEN with 13 per­cent.

Also dur­ing the pe­riod Jan­uary to March 2018, the pro­duc­tion of mango dropped by 9.4 per­cent, from 107.83 thou­sand met­ric tons in 2017 to 97.70 thou­sand met­ric tons this year.

The de­crease could be at­trib­uted to the in­ci­dence of ce­cid fly, cap­sid bug and other fruit flies and late flow­er­ing of trees in Ilo­cos Re­gion (Pan­gasi­nan) and Cen­tral Lu­zon (Nueva Ecija and Zam­bales).

Ilo­cos Re­gion topped the mango pro­duc­ing re­gions, con­tribut­ing 55.6 per­cent to the na­tional to­tal pro­duc­tion. Cen­tral Lu­zon ranked sec­ond with 18.2 per­cent share and West­ern Visayas, 6.2 per­cent.

Pro­duc­tion meth­ods may range from back­yard to sys­tem­atic op­er­a­tion which caters to the ex­port mar­ket.

It can be noted that back­yard farms are gen­er­ally small in size with min­i­mal care re­sult­ing in low yield.

To sup­port and boost the fruit in­dus­try in the coun­try, at least two projects are now be­ing funded by the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search (ACIAR) and the Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD).

Iden­ti­fied as pri­or­ity com­modi­ties un­der the Har­mo­nized Na­tional R&D Agenda (HNRDA) for 2017-2022 and DOSTPCAARRD’s In­dus­try Strate­gic S&T Pro­gram (ISP), ba­nana and mango are among the fruit crops be­ing stud­ied un­der the “ACIAR-PCAARRD Hor­ti­cul­ture Pro­gram on Fruits and Veg­eta­bles.” Ti­tled “In­te­grated man­age­ment of Fusar­ium wilt (FW) of ba­nanas in the Philip­pines and Aus­tralia,” the project aims to re­duce the im­pacts of FW and im­prove the pro­duc­tiv­ity and vi­a­bil­ity of ba­nana plan­ta­tions man­aged by small­hold­ers.

The ac­com­plish­ments of the project in­clude the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of mesh wire boot as the most ef­fec­tive scrub in re­mov­ing soil to limit the spread of dis­ease in­ocu­lum; re­port on the eco­nomic fea­si­bil­ity of grow­ing Gi­ant Cavendish tis­suecul­ture vari­ant (GCTCV) 218 in Foc in­fested area; and the con­duct of the Min­danao-wide ba­nana sym­po­sium par­tic­i­pated in by 140 ba­nana grow­ers and agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion work­ers (AEWs).

The sec­ond project ti­tled “Re­search and de­vel­op­ment of in­te­grated crop man­age­ment for mango pro­duc­tion in the south­ern Philip­pines and Aus­tralia” is in­tended to re­duce prod­uct losses due to pests and dis­eases, de­crease in­puts costs, and im­prove qual­ity and yield of mango to in­crease grow­ers’ profit.

The project’s ac­com­plish­ments in­clude the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of par­a­sitoids as po­ten­tial nat­u­ral en­e­mies of ce­cid fly; demon­stra­tion and train­ing on canopy man­age­ment in Davao Oc­ci­den­tal and Davao del Sur; and the con­duct of a na­tional sur­vey on “best prac­tices” in nine ma­jor mango grow­ing ar­eas in the coun­try.

For the suc­cess of the two ini­tia­tives, Dr. Jo­ce­lyn E. Euse­bio, direc­tor of the Crops Re­search Divi­sion (CRD) of DOSTPCAARRD, ex­pressed the Coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to sup­port ACIAR in its fu­ture R&D ac­tiv­i­ties on ba­nana and mango.

Ac­com­plish­ments for the two-year du­ra­tion of the projects were al­ready pre­sented dur­ing the end-of-project re­view which was held in Cebu City by im­ple­ment­ing agen­cies, namely the Univer­sity of South­ern Min­danao (USM), Univer­sity of South­east­ern Philip­pines (USeP), South­ern Philip­pines Agri-busi­ness and Marine and Aquatic School of Tech­nol­ogy (SPAMAST), and pro­vin­cial agri­cul­tur­ists of­fices of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.

Mango is also a fruit for ex­port but pro­duc­tion has been de­clin­ing due to pest prob­lems.

Cavendish ba­nana is the top fruit ex­port from the Philip­pines.

Ripe Carabao mango.

Durian has a ready mar­ket abroad but lo­cal pro­duc­tion must be en­hanced.

High qual­ity durian com­mands a high price.

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