Davao City-NZ partnership for durian quality research

Davao City-NZ partnership for durian quality research
Mark Perandos/SunStar File Photo

A DAVAO City Councilor said there are ongoing discussions about collaborating with New Zealand on research to enhance durian production quality.

Councilor Marissa S. Abella, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, during the Aprubado sa Konseho on Tuesday morning, April 30, 2024, at Sangguniang Panlungsod, said that initial talks are underway for a joint research venture focused on high-value crop durians with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited. 

New Zealand is expected to provide approximately P15 million in funding, matched by the local government's contribution of P10 million.

“So, ongoing pa ang discussion, and after that, I’ll be passing that for the resolution and ordinance for the research ng New Zealand partnership. They have the technical know-how for the plant and kaning mga fruits. All about fruits, especially for export quality (The discussions are still ongoing, and once finalized, I will propose a resolution and ordinance for the research partnership with New Zealand. They possess the technical expertise in plants and fruits, particularly for export quality),” she said.

Abella outlined that the proposed three-year research, pending city approval of the local counterpart, aims to address concerns such as the recent return of durian shipments due to cadmium contamination, notably from China to Vietnam.

She has been in talks with the Durian Council of Davao City to secure Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte's support for this partnership, stressing the importance of ensuring the high quality of durian exports.

The councilor also said that the initiative is crucial for durian farmers and exporters, providing them with guidance on optimal cultivation and export methods. 

She anticipates that an ordinance from their committee endorsing this partnership could be passed as early as May.

Abella also highlighted the collaborative efforts of the Research Camp of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Kabacan, North Cotabato, along with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), in researching regenerative agriculture. The initiative aims to counteract the adverse effects of climate change on agricultural production.

“Nagresearch sila because they have been practicing regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is now the need for the kalibutan para sa climate change. Climate change is one of the factors nga ga-reduce sa atong production sa fruit trees like cacao. Ang pasabot sa regenerative, more or less natural or organic (They conducted research based on their expertise in regenerative agriculture, which is vital globally in combating climate change. Climate change significantly impacts fruit tree production, such as cacao. Regenerative practices focus on natural or organic methods),” she added.

She also underscored the need for comprehensive farmer training, government oversight, and innovative technologies, especially given the recent drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon, to provide farmers with necessary seedlings and support. Almer Kaye Aguadera, DNSC Intern


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