The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) promoting the propagation of high-value fruits, particularly Hass avocado, in the deforested highlands of the island. According to MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the reason for this is the crop’s huge potential in the Chinese market and to offset some of the government’s failed reforestation programs.
So far, only Dole Philippines, Inc. (Dolefil) is exporting the crop to China, and Piñol suggested a growership program in line with MinDA’s environmental farming program which it plans to introduce in cool and high elevation areas in the southern Philippines.
“I crafted the environmental farming concept as a solution to the failed and expensive reforestation programs of the government in the deforested highlands of Mindanao. It is a farming concept which promotes greater productivity among the growers in the countryside while at the same time protects the environment by encouraging them to plant fruit trees,” Piñol, Duterte’s first Agriculture Secretary from 2016 to 2018, said in a statement on Thursday.
Hass is the most popular Avocado variety mainly because of its taste and long shelf life, making it a potential major dollar earner for Mindanao, Piñol told mindanews.com.
Besides Hass avocado, Piñol said they will also include mangosteen and the Abuyog Sweet Jackfruit, which was developed by the Department of Agriculture in the East Visayas Agricultural Research Center, in MinDA’s Environmental Farming Program.
Eight North Cotabato areas identified for Hass production
Eight areas in North Cotabato have been identified as potential production sites for the high-value Hass Avocado, the chief of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said Friday.
In a statement, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the city of Kidapawan and the towns of Makilala, Magpet, President Roxas, Antipas, Arakan, Alamada, and Banisilan have expressed interest in the agency’s “environmental farming program.”
Landowners in these areas, he said, “will then be notified and asked if they are interested in the program after which they will be organized into an association.”