MINDANAO Development Authority (Minda) is expecting increase of volume of fruits from Mindanao being shipped to Baguio City after the first Minda Fruit Festival in Baguio City on August 24 to 25, 2019.

For the activity, a total of five metric tons (MT) of Durian from Kidapawan City and 15 MT of tropical fruits from the different parts of Mindanao were shipped to be sold along Session Road in the city.

“With the Baguio consumers’ excitement to feast on the tropical fruits like durian, lanzones, marang, mangosteen, rambutan and pomelo, it is a big possibility that the volume will increase,” Minda public relations head Adrian Tamayo said.

Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier pronounced that that the first shipment will be the start of a weekly activity partnering Mindanao farmers and vendors of Baguio which will be organized by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Minda deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro, however, added that the arrangement of volume will vary as some fruits are seasonal.

“Some of the fruits are seasonal so this arrangement will also have to reckon with that. But what this initiative highlights is that it opens the viable link for Mindanao fruit products to markets,” he said.

“Possible increase of volume in succeeding shipments will be assessed after this weekend’s first run of Mindanao Fruits Fest in Baguio. It will also take into account logistics and travel timelines,” he added.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Piñol said the staging of the fruit festival aimed at helping Mindanao fruit farmers get a better income for their produce while giving Northern Luzon consumers the opportunity to buy their favorite tropical fruits at lower prices.

In Davao City, prices of the different varieties of durian are now being sold as low as P35 to P40 per kilogram (kg) from P200 to P250 per kg during off-season last month. Prices of other fruits are also low.

Piñol said fruits from Mindanao will consolidated by the farmers themselves while Baguio City fruit vendors will handle the sales.

“It is now the fruit season in Mindanao and farmers have been flooding the market with Durian, Lanzones, Marang, Mangosteen, Rambutan and Pomelo bringing prices down. To allow farmers to earn more, MinDA has initiated the marketing program for Mindanao fruits,” Piñol said.

“Minda will also embark on an aggressive promotions and marketing campaign for Mindanao products in the Bimp-Eaga and other countries,” he added. (LHC)