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Mindanao fruit farmers expanding reach to the Visayas

DAVAO CITY – The fruit festival organized by the Mindanao Development Authority, which aims to link Mindanao’s fruit farmers with consumers outside of the island-region, is coming to the Visayas.

MinDA chair Emmanuel Piñol on Saturday said the Visayas leg would take place in Cebu City from September 28-29, 2019.

“Secretary Michael Dino, the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, said he will host the Cebu staging of the MinDA Fruits Festival to give Cebuanos access to fresh fruits from Mindanao at lower prices,” Piñol said.

He said the Visayas leg was finalized during a recent chance meeting with Dino at the Manila Domestic Airport.

“Sec. Dino said he will be able to choose the ideal location for the fruits festival next week,” Piñol added.

Meanwhile, the Pangasinan version of the MinDA fruits festival took place on Saturday, where residents of Lingayen and those from nearby areas started feasting on such popular Mindanao fruits as durian, mangosteen, pomelo, marang, among others.

Piñol said in a Facebook post that it was still dark when prospective buyers came to the municipal hall grounds for the fruit festival.

The Lingayen version was the fourth of such event since last month.

“Next week, the MinDA Fruits Festival will be staged in La Trinidad, Benguet and then Cebu City,” Piñol added.

He said the conduct of the fruits festival would be conducted in a regular and sustainable manner and that MinDA had negotiated with airline companies for a special cargo price for Mindanao’s fruits.

Piñol said part of the sustainability plan is the pursuit of trading arrangements with other local government units in Luzon and the Visayas.

He cited that local government officials, such as Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil, were instrumental in the previous and the current fruits festivals.

Piñol said he was also looking forward to increasing the number of suppliers in the future to satisfy consumer demand, noting that in the Baguio experience, 20 tons of fruits were not even enough due to the volume of buyers.

“The more supplier, the better. That way, all sides will benefit. Consumers will enjoy fruits at a reasonable price and fruit farmers will have new and bigger markets,” he said.

Mindanao fruit farmers usually experience supply glut during harvest seasons, pushing the prices so low.

For example, last February, rambutan only sold at about PHP20 per kilogram in Mindanao because of the large volume of harvest. (PNA)

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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