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philippines:govt vows to help small mango farmers in davao norte
Release Time: 2008/12/15 0:00:00        From: Made In China.com        Visits: 166593        Font Size: Large  Middle  Small
Governor Rodolfo P. Del Rosario has vowed to help small mango growers in this province in order to strengthen the local mango industry’s capacity as a major force in export market and in providing livelihood to poor farmers. Del Rosario said the island is ideal for mango production as it is a typhoon-free area blessed with favorable soil components like limestone that can produce sweet, delicious and good quality mangoes.

As an island city, he said, it would be easy to implement quarantine measures in complying stringent standards of the international markets. Del Rosario wants the sector to take advantage of the established and the emerging markets of the high-value fruit, which has significantly contributed to the country’s export earnings, which is third to banana and pineapple.

However, he was surprised when small growers and farmers complained of low buying price due to poor quality, lack of technology and a gloomy market, among other issues confronting the local mango industry, during the recently held general assembly of the Samal Mango Grower’s Association (SAMAGA) at the Mahan Beach Resort, Caliclic, Island Garden City of Samal.

He cautioned some members who were contemplating to cut down their mango trees in favor of other high-value crops. “We’ll save the mango trees. Do not cut them down. You need to have the proper technology, a long-term buyer, a processing plant, a vapor treatment facility and other post-harvest facilities,” he said. “I will make sure that the small mango growers in Samal Island will be productive,” he promised.

To address the lack of credit assistance, the governor vowed to provide the small mango growers micro-credit facility to the extent of tapping the credit facility of the Century Bank, which is owned by his family. Del Rosario said he will help the small mango growers get a permanent buyer that will help provide the needed technology and post-harvest facilities, such as a vapor heating plant to improve the quality of mangoes for the export market.

He assured to negotiate with the Japanese owner of the Diamond Star Vapor Heating Plant in Carmen, Davao del Norte in order to afford a stable contract price for the benefit of the small growers. “I will talk to the buyers and find out what sort of price they could provide. And if based on our cost of production we will make money then we will sign up,” the governor said, assuring the growers that long-term agreements can be reviewed every year to ensure profitability.

On the other hand, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Ann Notarte said there are 3,000 mango growers in Samal Island. She said out of the Island’s total land area of 30,130 hectares, 15 percent or 4,533.47 hectares are planted to mango. Of the 212,097 mango trees planted, some 106,493 trees are now at bearing stage producing some 17,094 metric tons of fresh mangoes, she said.

Some 85 percent of the areas devoted to mangoes are owned by small farmers, tending farms that range from one to three hectares. The rest of the farms ranging from four hectares up constitute some 15 percent. Notarte, who presented the Samal Mango Industry Development Plan during the recent forum, said the sector lacks the proper technology that assures consistent quality and supply.

She explained the bulk of the island’s mango outputs are grown in backyard farms, making it hard to assure the competitiveness and consistent supply of mangoes.
But Gov. Del Rosario believes the recent creation of SAMAGA is a big step towards unity and proper orchestration of strategic interventions for the benefit of the local mango industry. The governor, who himself owns some 15 hectares in the island planted to mango, expressed his intention to also join the SAMAGA.
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