Filipino fruit producers in Mindanao will be allowed to ship their harvest directly to Luzon and the Visayas daily, following the signing of a marketing agreement between the government and the private sector.
In a news statement, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said its Field Office in Region 11 has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) and John Gold Cargo Forwarder for the initiative.
A statement by the Department of Agriculture read: “The effort aims to facilitate the movement of fruits and help local farmers bring their produce to major markets, provide a stable source of income, and reduce losses in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.”
Under the MOA, the DA said the three shippers will transport 15 tons of fruits from Davao to Manila at P35 per kilogram daily from September 1 to October 1.
The first shipment of fruits under the agreement arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport last September 1. “We can call this the durian flight,” Agriculture Undersecretary for Regulations and Infrastructure Zamzamin Ampatuan said as he noted that the bulk of the initial fruit shipment contains durian.
Ampatuan explained that the flights are solely dedicated to these specific cargoes, unlike previous arrangements wherein cargo shipments go with passenger flights: “That’s why we are excited about this because it is an opportunity that will benefit the farmers, producers and traders. We can serve the market and widen the opportunity for farmers to sell their produce with lower costs for cargo.”