PH gears for $2-B export of durian, other tropical fruits to China

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now preparing for the country's $2.09-billion fruit export to China, which primarily includes durian and other tropical fruits.


During the recent state visit to China, the protocols for “phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh durians from the Philippines to China” were covered by the 14 bilateral agreements signed as the Philippine delegation led by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos met with Chinese officials, according to the Office of the Press Secretary.

“There has been created what we are now calling the ‘Durian Protocol’ because they are opening their trade to imports of durian and other agricultural products from the Philippines, so that we can regress the imbalance in our imports and exports from China,” Marcos disclosed after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez, who serves as DA's deputy spokesperson, revealed that the steps to begin the durian export to China are now being finalized.

"Iyon pong formal na pagmi-meeting namin with our delegation sa China po ay mangyayari pa po iyan sa Friday together with the Executive Committee, pero ang pagkakaalam ko lang iyong pina-finalize ngayon is iyong export natin po ng Durian doon sa China (Our formal meeting with the Philippine delegation in China will be held this Friday, together with the Executive Committee, but as far as I know, we are now currently finalizing our durian export to China)," the official said.

On Monday, Jan. 9, DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban and Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel De Mesa called for a special meeting with the Regional Executive Directors (REDs) and Bureau of Plant Industry officials to discuss plans for the export project.

The DA is set to prepare for the expansion of durian production in the country to meet the demands of the Chinese market for fresh durians. During the meeting, Panganiban directed the concerned REDs to identify the potential areas for expansion and formulate the necessary work and financial plans to sustain the durian export.

Aside from durian, also part of the fruit export deal with China are coconuts and bananas.