Processed fruits featured on Kadayawan Festival

LOCAL producers of dried fruits and candies at the Pasalubong Center are working overtime to produce more stocks, as the demand is expected to go more than triple during Kadayawan Festival next month.

Food Processors Association of Davao (FPAD) marketing officer Vina Reuyan said that a notable number of domestic and foreign tourists visited Pasalubong Center after the landslide win of President Rodrigo Duterte, mayor for 22 years, in May 2016 elections and it will even grow bigger for the whole-month Kadayawan festivities.

The Pasalubong Center, a one-stop shop which houses several processed food and non-food products located on Palma Gil St., is officially one of the go-to destinations of both the domestic and foreign tourists who would buy some native products that they can bring back home.

“We need to have more stocks because expectedly there are more tourists who are interested to come here. When you search for a tourist destination, the Pasalubong Center is already one,” she said.

She said that the FPAD is present in three locations in the city such as the Pasalubong Center, and two at Abreeza Mall - one at the Davao’s Best and the other at the Asian Fruit Market.

The daily estimates revenues of the local producers at the present would range from P8,000 to P10,000, way higher as compared to P2,000 a day before, she said.

Their products include, among others, dried guyabano, dried papaya, dried pineapple, dried jackfruit, dried banana chips, fruit concentrates and the bestsellers dried durian and the durian chips.

However, prices for durian-based products rose for about P5 per pack after the El Niño affected several hectares of durian plantations in the city, according to her.

“We are searching for durian. We even go up to the hinterlands to look for durian fruits. Before, it was the farmers and middlemen who come to us, but now it is us who would go to their areas just to ensure sufficient stocks” she said.

Davao Durian Council Larry Miculob, in a recent press forum, reported that some 1,600 hectares planted with durian had been destroyed by the El Niño phenomenon, which will pull up the prices of the fruits next month.

Of the damaged areas, some 420 hectares were totally destroyed, equivalent to 2,310 tons of durian fruits or P9.2 million of revenues lost. Most of the lowland durian farms were the most affected while the highland plantations were spared.

The partially damaged trees would take three to four years before they can bear fruits again.

Despite this, Miculob assured that there would be enough supply next month, the start of the durian’s peak season which will last until September this year.

The prices are expected to stabilize between P50 to P60 a kilo, higher as compared to P20 a kilo of the same period last year. (ALC)
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