MINDANAO Fruit Industry Development Council (MinFruit) president Antonio Partoza, Jr. calls for the government to give more attention to fruit farmers and fruit production in Mindanao.
MinFruit was established some 15 years ago and every year and according to Partoza, they conduct seminars and conferences to answer fruit production-related concerns in Mindanao.
One of the concerns that had been previously raised in one of these meetings is the fruit farmers’ dire need for fertilizers and chemicals.
According to Partoza, Durian is among the top exports for this year and the demand continues to grow until next year. However, he would rather have the fruits distributed well in the Philippines first than the other countries.
“Actually, as a durian grower, hindi ako nag-aaspire ng export pa eh. Kasi dito pa lang sa Pilipinas, kulang pa eh,” said Partoza, adding that Filipinos from Luzon and Visayas have good acceptance of Durian and it would still be better if only the fruits were sold cheaper. He said that the freight cost for durian to Luzon and Visayas is very expensive thus the higher price for the fruit in those places also.
Partoza understands that the Department of Agriculture (DA) covers such a wide range from rice, poultry and cattle, and fisheries among others but he is also hopeful and optimistic of the fruit sector for 2017 with the current administration.
He said that MinFruit and DA had already met to finalize some plans for 2017.