More countries want to import Phl mangoes (Philippine Star)

MANGOES GALORE: Agriculture Assistant Secretary Orlan Calayag (right) holds freshly harvested Zambales mangoes grown on lahar soil during the recent three-day AANI Annual Mango Festival at the Quezon Memorial Circle. Fresh mangoes, as well as processed mango products including jams, dried fruit, pickles, purees, salad dressing, and wine were available in product booths. Mangoes coming from Guimaras Island, Zambales, and Batangas are considered the sweetest in the world.

MANILA, Philippines – There is increased interest for Philippine mangoes in Vietnam, Indonesia and Middle East, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Agriculture assistant secretary for Policy Orlan Calayag said the DA has been consistently receiving invitations from various countries to export Philippine mangoes.

He said formal bilateral meetings with Vietnamese importers would commence on June 10 for the importation of Philippine mangoes.

“There are also upcoming negotiations with Indonesia and Middle Eastern countries interested in our mangoes,” said Calayag.

Mango is one of the country’s 20 major high value crops. Domestic production grew by 8.43 percent in 2014 for a gross harvest of 885,038 metric tons.

Most of Philippine mangoes produced for export are shipped to Japan and South Korea.

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The rest of the country’s fresh mango produce are exported to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, New Zealand, the Middle East and Canada.

Late last year, Vietnam accredited the Philippines as a source of plant products after three years of application.

This will give Philippine mangoes access to the neighboring Southeast Asian country along with bananas and pineapples.

In granting accreditation, Vietnam required the following from the Philippines: information on food safety control system list of pesticides, plant growth regulators, preservatives used in production, storage and trade of foodstuffs and annual updated Food Safety Monitoring Program for foodstuffs during production, domestic circulation and export.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala recently signed with Health Secretary Janet Garin the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10611 or the Food Safety Act which strengthens the country’s food safety regulatory system.

The United States also relaxed last year the importation rules for fresh mangoes after its Agriculture department declared that the Philippines with the exemption of Palawan free from pests infesting mango trees.

The relaxation of import rules opens up opportunities for mango-producing provinces like Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Isabela, Batangas and Tarlac in Luzon Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas and Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato and Davao del Sur in Mindanao.

Mango growers in Palawan may export produce to US mainland only after the fruits have undergone irradiation treatment.

Before this clearance, only mangoes grown in Guimaras island in Visayas can be exported to the US mainland.

Mangoes grown from other parts of the Philippines suspected to have weevils, except Palawan, can be exported only to Guam and Hawaii.