PUYAT VARIETY. A fruit vendor in Davao City shows a Puyat variety durian on Tuesday (Jan. 24, 2023).  The Davao-produced premium Puyat variety will soon enter the China market. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

DAVAO CITY – At least 62 accredited durian farms in Davao Region are set to supply the fruit’s premium Puyat variety to China this year, the regional Department of Agriculture (DA-11) office said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, DA-11 Director Abel James Monteagudo said the number of local suppliers to China could double in the coming days as many durian growers signified to get their farms accredited.

In October last year, DA-11 said the China market for the "Puyat" durian variety opened after a group of Chinese representatives visited various farms in the region to evaluate good agricultural practices (GAP).

“There are probably another 62 (farms) coming because a lot of them requested GAP accreditations. They want their farms to be evaluated to see if they will pass,” Monteagudo said.

Considering China's sizable market, he said a sizable volume of the "Puyat" variety could be readily in demand.

Durian is a widely grown fruit in the Philippines, particularly in the Davao region, the top durian-producing area in Mindanao.

In 2021, the area planted for durian in the Philippines was 16,573 hectares with a total of 1,387,628 bearing trees. Of these, some 8,179 hectares planted with 884,567 bearing trees are located in the Davao Region.

In 2021, the volume of durian production in the Philippines was 73,867 metric tons compared to 78,815 metric tons from the previous year.

During the period, the Davao Region covered 78 percent of the total durian production.

The countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea are among the top five export destinations for Philippine durian.

In China alone, the Philippines is estimated to export around 52,000 metric tons of premium fresh durian.

“Around 9,696 direct jobs and 1,126 indirect jobs will be generated if Philippine durian will be allowed to be exported to China. Direct job includes additional workforce in farms that includes packaging, logistics, and other services sector,” Monteagudo said.

He said the industry is expected to generate about US$150 million in income during the first year of trade with China. (PNA)