Philippine govt to support five-year mango plan

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Philippine govt to support five-year mango plan

The Philippines' Department of Agriculture (DA) has committed PHP40 million (US$970,638) to support mango development initiatives as part of a five-year plan put forth by the industry.

The Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc. (PMIFI) plans to build an irradiation facility to meet importer requirements and has also proposed mango-related tourism as a potential earner.

A quarter of the government funding has been slated for providing production inputs and rehabilitating farms hit by typhoons over the last two years. The country's mango production fell by around 25% from 2007 to 2011, and the industry is eager to get back on its feet.

During the National Mango Congress in Mandaue City last week, Philippine agriculture secretary Proceso J. Alcala has also called on the PMIFI to consider 'geo-tagging' mango farms nationwide for more accurate and efficient monitoring.

He said 'geo-tagging' had proven successful in the implementation and monitoring of infrastructure and farm-to-market road projects on the island of Mindanao.

Alcala added the department would continue to supply growers with mango seedlings through the establishment of nurseries and scion groves, as well as the provision of needed production and marketing support under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

HVCDP national coordinator director Jennifer Remoquillo said the department would set up more postharvest facilities and conduct skills training so that processors could produce by-products like pure, wine and dried strips.

PMIFI president Virginia de la Fuente said growers from her foundation, which includes 15 mango associations and federations, had pledged to earmark 5% of their farms for cassava and sweet potato production as part of the government's ood Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP).

De la Fuente told the Manila Bulletin low farmgate prices had been a concern in recent years due to volatile demand from major importing markets, especially Hong Kong.

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