EXPORTING 50,000 metric tons of durian should be possible given the country’s capacity to produce them, an official from Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) said.
“Actually it’s doable, kasi ang supply natin for the whole Philippines is around… for 2016 data, it’s around 79,000 MT,” Emmanuel Belviz, president of DIADC said, citing Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest data of local durian production.
As of 2020, PSA states that the local durian production reached 78,816 metric tons (MT) in 2020 from 1.3 million durian-bearing trees occupying a total land area of 16,582 hectares.
Meanwhile, it can be noted that on April 6, the Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao), in collaboration with DIADC, dispatched an initial 28 metric tons (MT) of durian to China, a component of a $2 billion fruit export deal secured during the state visit of Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to China in January 2023.
The commitment stated that the country would export 50 MT to China directly.
In fact, Belviz said that almost 5,000 metric tons of durian were already exported outside the Philippines as of September this year, more than half of exports last year which tallied at almost 2,300 MT.
The export count does not only limit to China, but also to countries like Hongkong, Japan, Singapore, United States of America, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and United Arab Emirates.
“As I talk to the Bureau of Plant Quarantine Services since this year January 2023 to September, almost 5,000 metric tons na ang napadala ng Philippines,” Belviz said.
“Ngayon very hot [commodity] ang durian especially with the export ngayon ng durian to China,” he added.
However, there are still challenges in enabling more farms to produce durian which are good for export, such as having durian farms secure good agricultural practice (Gap) certifications, farm codes, Chinese Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) certifications, and many more. Durian farmers which also prioritize backyard farming is also quite a challenge.
“Actually, it’s the mindset of the farmers, medyo nahirapan tayo but slowly we’re trying to help them to be more professional, to be more responsible,” Belviz said.
In response to these challenges, Belviz also emphasized that the Department of Agriculture and the local government unit of Davao City had made efforts in conducting Gap training and subsidies. ICE