World Bank sweet­ens Guimaras mango out­look

Manila Bulletin - - Visayas News - By TARA YAP

The World Bank is tak­ing an ac­tive role in boost­ing the pro­duc­tion of Guimaras man­goes, which is be­lieved to be one of the fruit’s sweet­est va­ri­eties.

Ron­nie Mo­rante, chief of the Guimaras Agri­cul­tural Of­fice, said the World Bank is fund­ing 60 per­cent of the P18-mil­lion project that aims to con­vince more small farm­ers to grow qual­ity man­goes.

At the side­lines of the Mang­ga­han Fes­ti­val in Guimaras re­cently, Mo­rante noted that only 40 per­cent of the 279,822 trees in the is­land province are uti­lized for mango pro­duc­tion. He said farm­ers are not keen on go­ing into mango pro­duc­tion since they only earn 20 per­cent from the to­tal profit. With the project, the profit shar­ing will most likely in­crease, Mo­rante said.

One of the key as­pects of the project is the con­struc­tion of a P9-mil­lion pro­cess­ing plant where the man­goes can un­dergo treat­ment to en­sure its qual­ity both for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

Aside from World Bank, the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA) and the Guimaras pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment un­der Gov. Sa­muel Gu­marin is also fund­ing the project.

The ge­o­graph­i­cal brand­ing of Guimaras man­goes backed by the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) has boosted its mar­ketabil­ity. Elena Que­zon, chief pro­vin­cial eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, added it also at­tracted in­vestors for mango pro­duc­tion.

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