The Philippines has always been known as an agricultural country.
Gone are the days that we were considered a major player in the exports of agricultural products like rice and coffee, advancement in technologies, Climate change, local politics and other geo-political events around us would not change that this country’s agricultural roots.
But there is still hope for the Philippine Agricultural sector, in terms of the export market though admittedly we still need to make giant strides to catch up with our ASEAN ( Association of South East Asian Nations) counterparts. *
|Philippines answer to South Korea's K-drama invasion,South Korea wants no less than 3 tons of solo papaya every week (photo credit to conceptcentral website)|
One bright spot in this aspect is the farmers in Tupi, South Cotabato in the island of Mindanao, dubbed as South Cotabato province’s vegetable and fruit basket.
The initiative, which was launched in late July of this year , was conceptualized by the hardworking Department of Agriculture (DAR) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to help bring local agriculture and fishery products to bigger markets, especially abroad.
MS. Milagros Casis, Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 12 director, said Tuesday Tupi papaya producers had made their first shipment to South Korea last week through a supply deal with a Korean firm.
She said the shipment, which comprised of a ton of fresh solo papaya, was consigned to Korean distributor Nurida Company.
The forging of the supply agreement and the delivery of the initial shipment was facilitated by the agency, she said.
“We’ve been exploring and working on sending more of our local products to foreign markets and that is one of our priorities right now,” she said.
Citing the supply agreement between Tupi farmers, represented by local consolidator RM Fruits and the Korean firm, she said two to three metric tons of solo papaya would be shipped to South Korea on a weekly basis following the initial shipment. *
Casis said RM Fruits netted the Korean deal after joining the agency-led TienDA Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Outlet in Metro Manila.
Aside from papaya farmers of Tupi, which is dubbed as South Cotabato province’s vegetable and fruit basket, Casis said other farmers and agri entrepreneurs in Region 12 had started exporting their farm produce.
She specifically cited the Tulunan Mango and Fruits Growers’ Association of Tulunan, North Cotabato that shipped two tons of carabao mango to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates a month ago.
Four years ago, the region’s prime organic colored rice products have also reached the markets in Dubai, Hong Kong and the United States.
DA-12 had also assisted the shipment of pork products from the region to distributors serving Overseas Filipino Workers in Dubai.
“This is a major accomplishment for our farmers and producers and we will continue to assist them in reaching bigger markets,” Casis said.
Tupi papaya joins the list of South Cotabato's export products, which already include mango from Tulunan, organic rice and pork.
Report from PNA.gov.ph