DESPITE the reported shortage of fruits in Davao City, a city councilor is still optimistic about catering to agricultural export interests.

In an interview with City Councilor Marissa Abella, who also chairs the council’s committee on food and agriculture, said she had a recent talk with a businessman from China who is interested in investing into durian export from Davao City to China.

“They need a big number of export(s). In fact, he told me if you can plant 1,000 hectares of durian, then he’s already happy. And we could do that because in our place, in my district, especially in Paquibato, you can already go to the Ata and the other indigenous people because they had been owning big lands but none was given support,” said Abella who wish to assist the IPs in developing their ancestral lands.

Though for this Kadayawan Festival, guests and locals alike had noticed the decrease in production of fruits compared to last year’s production and display, Abella takes farm rehabilitation and organic planting as long-term solutions to the problem that is being noted to be because of climate change and abnormal rainfall.

“Climate change is already there so we also have to change the way we plant. We really have to rehab because some fruits are dying prematurely,” said Abella.

She added a convergence between different agencies including the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Science and Technology, together with the local government unit should be established as the market for agricultural export is growing.

In an interview with Davao Industry Council of Davao City chair Larry Miculob, he said sprays against tree fungus is currently being maintained as some of the durian trees in farms in the city are still starting to flower. Massive pruning has also been done to a number of trees in different durian farms in the city as well.

Among the other countries that had previously expressed interest in agricultural investments and export from Davao City include Britain, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, and other European countries. (JPA)