THREE Mindanao commodities entered the Middle East market, through Dubai, last year, an initiative to boost export capacity of the island's produce.

Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz, executive director of Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), told reporters on Wednesday’s edition of Wednesdays at Habi at Kape at the Abreeza Mall of Davao that the Department of Agriculture in Soccsksargen was able to facilitate trial shipment of some of Mindanao's commodities to Dubai last year.

“DA-12 (Soccsksargen) was able to facilitate trial shipment to Dubai through Cebu Pacific Air,” she said.

In a data provided by Minda, one ton of mango from Rickson Olympus in Tulunan North Cotabato was exported on November 29, 2015.

It was followed in less than a month by another one ton of mango along with two boxes of bananas from the local farmers in General Santos City and Tampakan town in South Cotabato.

Last December 27, a total of 1.5 tons of fresh calamansi produced in Lambayong and Esperenza towns in Sultan Kudarat and Matalam in North Cotabato were also shipped out to Dubai.

"They are now looking at the United States as possible market for our agricultural products," Lopoz said.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector in Mindanao is gearing up to facilitate the export of products such as pork in a box and Peking Duck of Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures Corp. owned by Davao City businessman Vicente Lao.

Jonathan Suy, president of Ana's Breeders Farm Inc., for his part said that Dubai is a huge market that we need to tap.

“In Dubai, demand for agri products such as poultry and livestock is very huge and we are capable to supply that as a group,” he said adding that Phillipines is more efficient in producing such products.

Dubai has a total of 2.5 million population, some 21 percent or some 523,000 are Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Ana's Breeders is currently constructing a Halal slaughter house complex which is expected to be operational by August of this year.

“We will be exporting soon but what we are doing is we want to make sure things to be smooth first para tuloy-tuloy na, that is our long term plan, we want to ensure that the facility is that efficient before we go on full exportation,” Suy said.

At present, the only Peking duck producer in the country, the Maharlika Agro-Marine, is gearing up on conquering the Middle East as its new export market.

Maharlika, after penetrating the Japan market last 2014, will position Mindanao produce to higher heights once more after it managed to secure a Halal accreditation from the Dubai Ministry of Environment Water last December 2015.

"We are the first company in Mindanao to get the accreditation from the Dubai Ministry of Environment Water, which means the halal certification which they issued to me can be accepted in the Middle East. We can export to Dubai, and countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and Oman," said Vicente T. Lao, owner of Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures Corp. and president of the Mindanao Business Council.

With the accreditation, Davao's Pekin duck products will now find its way into the Middle East thus conquering a bigger market.