Mindanao is all set to tap high-value international markets that would benefit its fresh mango producers after a key agreement was formed at the recently-concluded Mindanao Fresh Mango Producers forum.

The forum discussed serious issues and concerns of mango producers. The event was made possible by the joint efforts of the Mindanao Fresh Mango Producers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) 11 (Davao Region) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

The agreements and insights formed from the forum will assist the ongoing feasibility study on the quality assurance system for fresh mango being implemented by the New Zealand Embassy and NZ G2G Partnerships Ltd.

“We are looking forward to having this venue as the birthplace of a more organized, dedicated, and with a common vision, the ‘ONE Mindanao Mango Industry Council’, an organization that will carry the hopes and dreams of all mango players in Mindanao,” MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

MinDA, together with the New Zealand Embassy, has been working for development interventions to strengthen Mindanao’s fresh fruit industry.

“New Zealand has a lot of experience in agriculture and we want to share that, with focus on Mindanao, given its agriculture and agribusiness potentials,” said Tim Stewardson, deputy head of mission of the New Zealand Embassy.

MinDA revealed that a three-year co-investment project will be commenced by the New Zealand group, together with the Philippine government and industry players.

The project aims to help Mindanao’s sector to follow with stringent maximum residue level requirements in high-value markets.

Next month, the regional mango councils are scheduled to meet where they will organize a single Mindanao Mango Industry Council, forming part of the major steps towards easing access to lucrative markets.  (RJ Espartinez)