Philippine pineapple and mango production saw growth during the period of October-December 2018, say the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Pineapple production during the period increased by one percent, reaching 706,046 tons from 699,022 tons in the same period of the previous year.
Almost two-thirds or 64.2 percent of the total pineapple production was from Northern Mindanao. Soccsksargen came next with a 30-percent share to the total pineapple production, while Bicol Region contributed 2.1 percent.
On the other hand, an increase of 0.5 percent was recorded in mango production during the fourth quarter of 2018, reaching the level of 27,062 tons. This was 131 tons higher than the 2017 level of 27,049 tons. Zamboanga Peninsula had the largest share of 26 percent to the total mango production, followed by Caraga and Northern Mindanao with 24.1 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.
The mango variety Carabao, with 22,056 tons production during the period, contributed the largest share of 81.7 percent to the total mango production.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing small banana farmers cooperatives and associations to supply part of the huge market requirement for Cavendish bananas in Eastern European (EEU) countries, especially Russia. In a meeting with officials of banana farmers cooperatives of Compostela Valley in Davao City, DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol noted that the EEU market has an estimated 180-million consumers: “The market in the Russian Federation alone needs 150,000 boxes every week, according to an executive of the Magnit Supermatket, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Russia with 12,500 outlets.”
Piñol divulged that a group of EEU investors intends to establish a 7,000-hectare banana farm in the Bangsamoro area. While waiting for the development of the area, he said, the group will be buying from small independent farmers to initially supply the EEU requirements.
The Russians alone have an annual expenditure of USD5 billion for tropical fruits, mainly bananas. According to ptvnews.ph, Ecuador monopolizes the Russian market even if the Philippines enjoys the distinct advantage of shorter shipping times.