The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with the private sector to assist local farmers in Mindanao in the transportation and marketing of their high-value crops in Luzon and Visayas.
The department said it aims to help local farmers bring their produce to major markets and provide a stable income amid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The DA, through its field office in Region 11, initiated an agreement between the Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) and John Gold Cargo Forwarder for the initiative.
Under the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed last Aug. 2, three shippers will transport 15 tons of fruits from Davao to Manila at P35 per kilogram daily from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1.
Undersecretary for Regulations and Infrastructure Engr. Zamzamin Ampatuan welcomed the preliminary shipment of fruits from Davao City last Sept. 1, 2020 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“We can call this the durian flight,” Ampatuan said as the bulk of the initial fruit shipment contains durian.
“We are excited about this because it is an opportunity that will benefit the farmers, producers, and traders. We can serve the market and widen the opportunity for farmers to sell their produce with lower cost for cargo,” he added.
Undersecretary for High-Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña said that the unloading of the first shipment of fruits may encourage the involvement of more producers, consolidators, and shippers in using air cargo to transport agricultural commodities.
The DA has also partnered with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure smooth and unhampered movement of shipping the produce.