The first day of the festival featured a grand display of various mango from different regions across the Philippines. (James Tababa)
The Aani Mango Industry Association (AMIA), Inc., in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, held the highly anticipated 19th National Mango Festival from May 19 to 21, 2023, at the ETON Centris Walk, Quezon City with the theme "Creating Growth Strategies for the Mango Industry," the festival brought together various stakeholders and played a vital role in driving the development of the mango industry in the Philippines.
The festival's opening day was marked by a series of inspiring messages from industry professionals, policymakers, and other relevant parties to address concerns and identify opportunities for growth.
Ramil Rubia, President of AMIA, emphasized the importance of unity among mango farmers in the Philippines. He highlighted the participation of mango growers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, who came together for this annual mango festival. Rubia urged everyone to unite and elevate the mango industry of the nation, emphasizing the need to support and strengthen the Philippine mango industry.
Senator Cynthia Villar highlighted the significance of the festival in showcasing the productivity, marketability, and viability of the national fruit. Senator Villar pointed out the need to assist and empower these smallholder farmers, recognizing their crucial role as entrepreneurs and key players in the mango industry.
In a message from Glenn Panganiban, Director of DA-HVCDO, he commended the collaborative efforts made in the past and stressed the importance of focusing on sustainability while overcoming production challenges.
Jhino Ilano, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, acknowledged the need for continuous research and development, technological advancements, and innovation to maximize the potential of the mango industry. Ilano highlighted the emerging trends in utilizing mango by-products, such as bioplastics made from mango peels and seeds, mango-based leather alternatives, mango pectin for the food and pharmaceutical industries, and functional fiber from upcycled mango seeds.
Kristine Evangelista, DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Consumer Affairs, recognized the vast opportunities presented by the mango industry. She affirmed the department's commitment to align programs with the industry's goals, more importantly collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry to enhance production and explore global market penetration. Evangelista assured industry stakeholders of the government's support in policy formulation and program implementation.
The Mango Festival served as a platform to promote public agricultural projects and programs while addressing the challenges faced by farmers. The event showcased an impressive display of various mango strains from all over the country.
In addition to the mango displays, the festival hosted a series of mango-related activities. Mango seminars provided valuable insights into the pest management, cultivation, handling, and culinary applications of mangoes.