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.