Philippine Mangoes take centerstage
at 18th National Mango Festival in QC
Text, photos and video by Monsi A. Serrano
Mango growers from different parts of the Philippines converged and showcased their respective mangoes at the Eton Centris in Quezon City at the start of June.
From Guimaras, Bicol, Ilocos, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Misamis Oriental,Sarangani and many other areas, the Philippine mangoes remain to be the best mango in the world. It was even awarded by the 1995 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world.
While these mango growers and farmers take pride in the Philippine mangoes, they also revealed during the dialogue with Department of Agriculture (DA) officials that there are challenges. The mango farm industry has been facing difficulties because of importation of mangoes from Cambodia; funding or loan challenges; and other issues like “kurikong”, low buying prices, and lack of support from mango food processors.
Fair market price
Interestingly, Ronnie Arco, Managing Director of Weambard International Technology, who also attended the dialogue, acknowledged the need for food processors like them and the mango farmers to work together. Arco cited the need to buy the harvest of farmers at fair market price in order for the farmers to sustain their business and provide a steady supply to the food processors.
“Kung wala kayong mga nagtatanim ng mga mangga, wala din kaming mga food processors sa industriya. Salamat sa inyo at sana ay patuloy tayong magtulungan. Dapat mabili sa tamang halaga ang inyo mga ani upang makinabang ang ating bayan at magsasaka (Without you who grow mangoes, we food processors would not be in this industry. We thank you and hope we could help one another. Your produce should be bought at the right price for the good of our country and our farmers),” Arco added.
Weambard International is an agro-fruit food processing plant located in Guiguinto, Bulacan that has been catering to the micro, small, medium and other enterprises. As a processing company, Arco has been advocating to support the local industries most especially the disadvantaged farmers.
Mad about mangoes
For his part, Agriculturist and Big Fortune Farm (BFF) owner Ramon Marañon of Guimaras Island Province told THEPHILBIZNEWS his optimism in the mango industry and also pointed out the need for the government and private sectors to patronize our local mango farmers considering that mango is our national fruit.
While Marañon also takes pride that Guimaras is the home of the sweetest mangoes, he pointed out that it is only in Guimaras that visitors can experience a “Mango Eat All U Can”.
The passionate Agriculturist also said, “Yes, we have the sweetest mango in Guimaras, but there are many more interesting products that the people need to know about Guimaras when they visit.”
AgriCare Companies joined
One of the major issues brought up by mango growers was their problem in their harvest oftentimes due to insects that cuts across the entire mango industry in the Philippines. Companies like Zagro, an AgriSolution company started in 1953, AgriMek, Nitto and other companies participated to support the Philippine mango industry.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture officials have announced various programs that support the mango farmers. There will be selling of mangoes in the Department of Agriculture Central Office, and also in Department of Trade and Industry and in Luneta on June 12, Indepence day.
Gasoline subsidy for the trucks will be provided by the DA.
As for those who would like to loan, the Land Bank of the Philippines has a helped desk and DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol has also instructed to the Landbank officials to help and educate those farmers who are availing of the loans so they can jump start and boost their mango business.
See related story:
18th National Mango Festival to kick off from May 31-June 2