Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala speaks during the 13th National Mango Congress in Sarangani province in Mindanao. And Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez receives a token of appreciation from the organizers of the Mango Congress - Virginia de la Fuente, president of the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc., and Fred Dumasis, president of Sarangani Federation of Fruit Industry Association. (Photo by Russel Delvo)
SARANGANI (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 3, 2011) – Global demand for fresh fruits, including mangoes from the Philippines, may rise as consumers shift to healthier diets, a US official said.
Ross Wherry, chief of party of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) program, said the continuing expansion of fruit industry, specifically mangoes, is starting to boost the economic growth in Mindanao and helps to create a more conducive and vibrant place for peace and development.
Wherry, who attended the recent 13th National Mango Congress in Sarangani province, said thousands of jobs are directly generated by fruit industry.
In positioning the Philippine mango to the global market, he said strong partnership and efficient teamwork with various players in the value chain is extremely important.
USAID is currently helping fruit growers and processors expand access into lucrative markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East, United States and Europe, according to Wherry.
He said USAID is providing wide-ranging technical assistance to thousands of producers in Mindanao like trainings on farming technologies, among others.
“We are proud to see Mindanao taking center stage in this year’s mango congress because Mindanao is emerging as a supplier of high quality fresh and processed mangoes into many parts of the world.”
“Over the years, Mindanao has made much progress in developing its agricultural and processing sectors, while forming strong producer associations. Over time, they developed into dynamic associations with national networks and set their sights on the export market,” he said. (Beverly Paoyon)