PH to compete with Malaysia, Thailand in exporting durian

PH to compete with Malaysia, Thailand in exporting durian
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ONCE durian production and export stabilize in Davao City, it could possibly contend with Malaysia and Thailand in exporting durian to China, an official from the Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) said.

“Ang average na gi-mention sa (As mentioned by Davao City Agriculturists’ Office, the average production) is seven metric tons (MT) per hectare per year… but the Philippine average is around 4 MT per hectare per year, that's why we need to improve our production and production practices para apas ta sa harvest sa (so that we can catch up with the durian harvests from) Thailand and Malaysia,” Emmanuel Belviz, president of the DIADC, said during the iSpeak media forum at the City Mayor’s Office on October 19, 2023.

According to Plantations International, a multinational plantation and farm management company, the largest exporter of Durian fruit globally is Thailand with approximately 95 percent, followed by Malaysia with 4 percent. In terms of volume, Thailand and Malaysia exported 402.70 million kilograms and 17.75 million kilograms of durian, respectively, as of 2016 data.

With this, Belviz reiterated his emphasis that there is a need to expand the durian plantations by 15,000 hectares over the next five years, to accommodate overseas markets. As per data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2021, there are currently 8,179 hectares of durian plantations with 884,567 bearing trees in the Davao Region.

“This is part of the five-year plan of City Agri and I think the Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to make an expansion of around 15,000 hectares. If we can reach around 15,000 hectares, that’s 90,000 metric tons [of durian] per year, and hopefully we can rehabilitate mga existing farms,” Belviz said.

He also mentioned that the DIADC is in discussions with various countries and foreign unions, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and the European Union, for the direct exportation of native durians from the Davao Region. Exploratory talks with Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan have also begun.

Belviz also assured that durian supply will still be stable amid the current exportation of Davao durians in China. He said that the current Davao market is fond of tree-ripe, or “tagak” durians, while the Chinese market is fond of ripe durians. 

“Basta gwapo lang ang season within that, dili ta mahutdan, hopefully with the subsequent years daghan na mag-export og durian, mas modaghan ang durian, which will eventually, mag-stabilize na ang export market (If the durian season is good, we will not have shortages of durians, and hopefully with the subsequent years we can export more durians which will eventually stabilize our export market),” Belviz said.

Earlier this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announced that the protocol for exporting fresh Philippine durian to China had been signed. This agreement between the DA in the Philippines and China's General Administration of Customs establishes the phytosanitary requirements for the exportation of fresh durians from the Philippines to China. 

This is part of a $2 billion fruit export deal secured by 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 with reports from PNA


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