US-bound: PH's pineapples, mangoes soon to reach more US markets

Published August 25, 2021, 11:14 AM

by Betheena Unite

Philippine-grown pineapples and mangoes will soon find their way to more markets in the United States of America.

(Photo courtesy of the DA)

This, after the country’s Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and the USA’s Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) recently agreed on and threshed out several pending issues before.

“Expanding the export market of Philippine pineapples and mangoes in the US and other countries will not only enhance our national economy, but more importantly, provide increased incomes to thousands of farmers and their families in pineapple- and mango-producing provinces nationwide,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

According to Dar, the exportation of the fruits is expected to happen before the end of this year.

“With this development, the Philippines could dramatically increase exports of pineapples and resume shipments of mangoes to the US via additional ports of entry,” he added.

Currently, homegrown fresh pineapples reach the US through Guam, Commonwealth of Marianas Island, and North Atlantic regions.

From 2013 to July 15, 2021, exports amounted to only 346,190 kilograms (kg).

The country previously exported fresh mangoes to the US, from 2005 to 2008, totaling 386,099 kg, all produced in Guimaras Island.

The USDA-APHIS also agreed to draft an operational workplan (OWP) for irradiation of Philippine fresh mangoes upon arrival in the US. The BPI will provide APHIS official comments on the OWP.

Irradiation is a phytosanitary treatment that uses ionizing radiation to prevent the introduction or spread of regulated pests by achieving either mortality, preventing successful development like non-emergence of adults, sterility or inactivation. Irradiation of mangoes upon arrival in the US is an option offered by the USDA in response to the request of the Philippines to remove pre-clearance inspection.

In 2019, the US imported various Philippine farm products, totaling to $924 million, led by tropical oils ($353 million), processed fruit and vegetables ($165 million), fruit and vegetable juices ($112 million), tree nuts ($92 million), and raw beet and cane sugar ($36 million). Coconut (oil and other products), fish and marine products, sugar and pineapples are the country’s major exports to the US.