DURIAN PRODUCTION. Some 50 durian growers in the Caraga Region are undergoing a three-day training on production and marketing opportunities from Jan. 30 to Feb.1 at the Agricultural Training Institute in Butuan City. The activity is part of the expansion program of the High-Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region to develop around 2,154 hectares of durian plantation in the region to meet the increasing demand for fresh durian fruits in the international market. (Photo courtesy of DA-13 Information Office)

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Caraga Region (DA-13) is set to develop 2,154 hectares of durian farms in the region.

In a statement Tuesday, the High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA-13 said the move aims to meet and sustain the high demands for fresh durian in the international market, particularly in China.

“Currently, the Caraga region has an existing area of 1,315 hectares devoted to durian production,” the HVCDP said, adding that identified expansion areas have already been analyzed and found to be suited for the growing of durian fruits.

“The expansion is also in line with the DA’s move to boost the production of durian in the country following the recent state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to China wherein he was able to secure a USD2 billion fruit export deal,” the HVCDP said.

Aside from the expansion of the land area for durian production, the DA-13, through the HVCDP is also preparing the durian growers in the region

Emmylou Presilda, DA-13 information officer, said some 50 durian growers in the region are now undergoing a three-day training on durian production and marketing opportunities.

The training, which started on Monday, is being facilitated by the Agricultural Training Institute in the Caraga Region with the support of the Bureau of Plant Industry.

“The training aims to capacitate our durian growers, including the agriculture technicians on durian production techniques as well as in the nursery management,” Presilda said.

Local durian growers will also learn good agricultural practices and the protocols for the exportation of durian fruits, she said.

In the same statement on Tuesday, Emmanuel Belviz, president of the Durian Industry Association of Davao City, who also provided support to the training of the local durian growers, confirmed the growing demand for durian in the world market.

"The growing demand for durian is expected to drive global trade growth for the durian industry, with the demand expected to reach USD28 billion by 2025,” Belviz said.

The HVCDP said the agency will start its expansion program in the Caraga Region early this year. (PNA)