EXPANSION of Davao Region’s durian plantation is needed to harness more overseas opportunities in exporting durian, a durian industry leader said.
Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) president Emmanuel Belviz said that as they seek more overseas opportunities in exporting durian they need to expand 15,000 hectares for the next five years.
“We are targeting 15,000 hectares of expansion for the next five years, di pa kasama ’yung (not including) private individuals na for expanding… I can hear farmers expanding left and right na, tapos yung mga existing durian farmers ngayon are upgrading sa mga farms nila (on their farms),” Belviz said Tuesday, August 29, during the AgriBiz Media Forum in SM Lanang.
Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data in 2021, there are only a total of 8,179 hectares of durian plantation with 884,567 bearing trees located in Davao Region.
Belviz added that they are in talks with several countries and foreign unions, such as in Australia, Japan, South Korea, United States, and European Union, regarding direct exportation of native durians from Davao Region. Other exploratory talks with Middle East countries and Pakistan have also commenced.
“Actually, yesterday we had a meeting with other Chinese ports who are willing to export durians to Kazakhstan, so maraming opportunities na nag-oopen up (there are many opportunities opening up),” Belviz said.
He also emphasized that durian farmers’ current priority is to produce more marketable varieties such as puyat, D101, duyaya, and certain Malaysian durian varieties.
On April 6, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao in collaboration with DIADC shipped 28 metric tons (MT) of durian to China, a part of a $2 billion fruit export deal secured by the agriculture secretary and president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 's state visit to China in January 2023. As of August 2023, DA has already shipped 900MT of durian to China.
Under the agreement, DIADC said, they are expected to send some 50,000MT to China.
DA said the Durian Plantation Expansion Plan will be one of their priorities for their five-year development plan slated for years 2024 to 2029.
The P180-million plan also includes providing puyat durian seedlings to Davao farmers through cooperatives, which are already identified by DA-Davao. It also includes reinvigoration of plantations to help farmers increase their durian production. ICE