By BONG S. SARMIENTO, MindaNews
KORONADAL City — Mangoes produced in Region 12 have penetrated the United Arab Emirates, officials said Thursday.
Milagros Casis, Department of Agriculture Region 12 (DA-12) director, said the carabao mangoes that were shipped to Abu Dhabi came from a group of farmers in Tulunan town, North Cotabato.
This is the second shipment of mangoes to the United Arab Emirates produced in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen region, she said.
“In 2015, we also exported 2.5 metric tons of mangoes to Dubai, UAE,” Casis said.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
She said the Tulunan Mango and Fruit Growers’ Association shipped carabao mangoes to Abu Dhabi early this month after participating in an international trade fair.
“We are hopeful that the other exhibitors in the region that we brought to different trade expositions will also seal similar market opportunities,” Casis said.
Rickson Olimpus, president of Tulunan Mango and Fruit Growers’ Association, confirmed they exported 500 kilos or half a ton of premium grade carabao mangoes to Abu Dhabi.
“This is our second shipment to Abu Dhabi after our trial shipment on May 22 where we sent 18 kilos,” Olimpus shared.
The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) and High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA-12 assisted the farmers in shipping the mangoes.
Evelyn Jaruda, an AMAD-12 worker, said that the recent shipment of mangoes was the result of the participation of the region to the International Food Expo (IFEX) on May 19 to 20 held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
During the expo, Olimpus and Mildred Curato Remo, manager of Fresh Harvest Foodstuff Trading LLC from Abu Dhabi, agreed on the mango shipment.
Together with the 500 kilos of mangoes bound for Abu Dhabi was another half metric ton of mangoes sent to Manila, Jaruda said.
Charlotte Tanoja, of B&C Healthy Snack Food, Inc. from Muntinlupa City, was the group’s linkage in Metro Manila, she added.
Olimpus said that he is now in contact with another food processor from Manila, whom he also met at the IFEX, for a possible mango supply deal.
“They are requesting around one ton of processed grade mangoes by the third quarter of 2017,” he revealed.
Besides the domestic market, Olimpus and his group are also expecting more shipments to food processors and importers from India and Middle East countries.
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