THE administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is committed to implementing strategies to ensure high-quality fruits for export, including durian, which is subject of an export deal with China amounting to USD 2-billion.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), which the President currently directly heads, is taking the lead in strengthening the production of Grade-A durian through its Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).
The DA has been overseeing the ongoing registration of exporters, packing facility operators, and growers of durian, with five licensed exporters, six licensed packing facility operators, and 65 registered durian growers registered in the Davao Region, to date.
Under the DA’s Enhanced KADIWA Grant, durian growers and farmer cooperatives have also been extended financial assistance and support.
A training session for DA-BPI Plant Quarantine officers, inspectors, and other stakeholders on durian pests and diseases will also be scheduled by the DA. The training will include topics on cultural management to improve technical knowledge, further ensuring the quality of fresh durian for export to Chinese markets.
President Marcos was able to secure the signing of the “Protocol of the Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Fresh Durians from the Philippines to China” on January 4, during his three-day State Visit to China.
Fresh from the success of the State Visit, President Marcos, in his arrival remarks on January 5, noted the agricultural cooperation between the two countries opens the door to greater trade opportunities.
“Because they are opening their trade to imports of durian and other agricultural products from the Philippines… we can redress the imbalance in our imports and exports from China,” the President said.
The demand for durian is estimated to be higher than the USD 150 M (P8.24 B) worth of exports during the first year of the implementation of the “Durian Protocol.” China will be importing more than 5.7 M kilos of fresh durian per season.
Chinese firms such as Dole (Shanghai) Fruits and Vegetables Trading Co., Ltd/Dole China, Prestige International Co. Ltd., Shanghai Goodfarmer Group, and the Dashang Group already made purchase commitments for 2023.