By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is now helping the Philippines explores ways on how to potentially boost the country’s calamansi (a lemon variety) exports.
A statement showed that a value chain study is now being carried out to beef up the country’s calamansi output and export in countries like Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
SEARCA, in particular, is supporting Bureau of Agricultural Research’s (BAR) piloting of the project in Oriental Mindoro.
“There are gaps and constraints in the calamansi industry that limit its potential to increase income and generate the much-needed employment for the calamansi-growing communities in Oriental Mindoro,” SEARCA said.
“The project will strengthen capacities of calamansi stakeholders on the improved production and postharvest handling practices, calamansi processing, and entrepreneurship,” it added.
Value chain studies enhance a business’s competitiveness and was introduced by economist Michael Porter in his Competitive Advantage (1985) book.
For fresh calamansi, a value chain advantage may be found in turning it into value added processed goods like bottled juice and puree.
The two-year value chain project aims to address technical and market constraints in calamansi growing.
It intends to improve calamansi production and fruit quality by using proven technologies and practices in integrated pest management, fertilization, off-season fruiting, and postharvest handling.
It will also support the commercialization of calamansi-based products through value chain analysis of processed products, market study, and product enhancement.
Moreover, it will also promote faculty and student exchange for R&D (research and development) and technology transfer and promotion.
Calamansi is indigenous to the Philippines. The largest production is from Victoria, Oriental Mindoro.