DAVAO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (DA-11) shipped 18 metric tons of durian to China on Thursday.
In an interview, Emmanuel Belviz, president of the Durian Industry Association of Davao City, said China has opened a huge market for their produce with the Puyat, D-101, Cob and Duyaya as exported varieties.
"This is what we have longed for. We can now export our durian at a higher price and as farmers, we need to produce good quality of durian," he said.
With the high demand in China, he said they need to improve their production and look for areas for expansion.
Belviz said the farmgate price is PHP45 per kilo and the packing houses buy it for PHP80 per kilo.
Despite the exportation, he assured enough supply of durian for the local market.
DA-11 Regional Director Abel James Monteagudo, in a speech read by Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marila Corpuz at the send-off held at the Davao International Airport cargo terminal, said it is a historical day for the Philippine fresh durian as it finally enters the China market.
The exportation of durian aligns with the bilateral agreement on the protocol of Philippine fresh durian to the Republic of China signed during the state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in China on Jan. 3, 2023.
"As we enter the biggest market of the world-the Chinese market, I would like to congratulate and acknowledge one of our long- standing partners, the DIADC for their effort in contributing to the steadfast development of our country," Monteagudo said.
He is hoping that more locally produced fruits, including coconut and bananas, are to be shipped to China in the coming months.
He said the DA, where President Marcos concurrently sits as its Secretary, is also working on the five-year development plan for the durian industry that will intensify technical support and the provision of quality planting materials, fertilizer and pesticide, equipment and tools, as well as the establishment of postharvest facilities.
"Philippines has a very big potential in the export market and rest assured that with the help of our farmers we are ready to meet the big demand from China," Monteagudo added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Secretary Leo Tereso Magno, the guest of honor during the send-off ceremony, has vowed support for sustainable durian export to China.
He congratulated the stakeholders, especially the farmers as he also promised to listen to the concerns of the durian farmers to continue the growth of the industry.
"The best variety of durian comes from Mindanao. I would like to congratulate everyone. I would also like to find out what other things we can help (for this booming industry). It is good to have a maiden flight but the secret is sustainability," he said.
Magno said among the best way to achieve sustainability in any endeavor is through consultation, concession and partnership between the government and the private sector. (PNA)