By Philippine News Agency
ILOILO CITY — Guimaras is expected to start the export of its sweet mangoes to Russia in May, provincial agriculturist, Ronie Morante, has said.
Guimaras growers, producers and traders will meet with exporters on April 29 to finalize the details of the export.
“We will be negotiating with a licensed exporter who is aware of the protocols of Russia,” Morante said.
They will be working out among others the shipment schedule of the two metric tons per week committed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
The secretary met with mango growers, producers and traders as part of his “Biyaheng Bukid” at the Bureau of Plant Industry – National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center in Jordan, Guimaras.
In a media interview on Thursday, Piñol said he has provided PHP1 million as starting capital as the province gears for the Russia shipment.
The fund will be handled by the Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative (GMGPDC).
Using the fund, the growers are assured that they will be paid outright.
Morante said they assured Piñol that they are ready to provide the needed volume year-round. They are already doing induction to make sure that they can fulfill the commitment.
“We have an inventory until June and we can cope. The two tons per week is only eight metric tons per month,” he said.
Last year, the province was able to produce 11,500 metric tons. This year they are projecting to have more than 12,000 metric tons due to favorable weather condition.
Currently, the province has 274,822 mango trees and almost 200,000 are bearing fruits.
Morante, added the DA executive has made commitments but they still have to translate it into a formal proposal.
These commitments include support for the community-based project to address the infestation of cecid and fruit flies.
Meanwhile, Piñol emphasized that market is not a problem for mangoes as the demand is huge worldwide.
“We have to support our farmers increase their productivity. Now we have completed the mango roadmap; we are ready to work on the things identified there as priority needs of our mango areas,” he said.
He also instructed the personnel of the Mango Research Center to get out of their office, mingle with mango growers, and share the technology with them.