By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The country’s problem on the oversupply of mango has turned out to be short and sweet.
Last week when Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said there is a surplus of 2 million kilograms (kgs) of mango from the recent harvest. Half of this, he said, should be sold within the week during the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) metro-wide mango marketing program that started on Monday and is now being held in at least seven locations.
“Within the week, we are expecting to dispose 1 million kgs. That’s 100 metric tons,” Piñol said, adding that the remaining half could be absorbed by the market naturally.
After this, the DA will focus on securing more foreign markets for Philippine mango. These markets could be Russia and South Korea, on top of the existing markets like Japan and Dubai.
The DA was only informed about the issue of oversupply in mango last week, when some growers from Luzon came to the agency and asked for help in addressing their bumper harvest of mango following the long dry spell caused by El Niño, which precipitated profuse flowering and fruiting this season.
Aware of the surplus, local processors have also dropped their buying prices.
At that time, farmers estimated a surplus of 2 million kgs of mango that would just likely rot if the government will not help them sell the fruits.
“[The oversupply of mango is a result of fallowing] which happens every three years or four years. It’s a good phenomenon for us, but the farmers were not able to coordinate with us and the DA also fell short of monitoring,” Piñol said.
In response, the DA, through its attached agency Agriculture Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), launched the ‘Metro Mango Marketing Program’, which allowed farmers to set up stalls in DA Central Office where they can sell their mangoes and other products.
Fresh mangoes, to be sold for P20 to P50 per kilo depending on the quality, will also be sold in other areas as part of the marketing program. These include Bureau of Plant and Industry’s (BPI) office in Malate; Muntinlupa City Hall; Paranaque City Hall; Waltermart North Edsa, Quezon City; Waltermart Makati; and Waltermart Pasay.
As early as lunch time yesterday, all the mangoes brought to the DA Central Office have already been sold out. The DA estimates that in the agency’s Central Office alone, farmers were able to sell 15 metric tons (MT) of mango, which is equivalent to 15,000 kgs and has a combined value of P4.5 million.
“This only proves that the farmers just need to be linked to the market. We will keep on pursuing this,” Piñol said.