Mango Fest To Add Know-how
With the myriads of problems facing the mango industry that include pests and diseases, the changing climate pattern and others, it is only right to hold activities that will help increase the knowledge of mango farmers.
Just like mango festivals and agri-fairs, for instance. And speaking of mango festivals, one will be held on May 25-27 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City under the auspices of the Aani Mango Industry Network Foundation headed by Antonio S. Rola. The event is in collaboration with the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service headed by director Leandro Gazmin of the Department of Agriculture. The Agri-Aqua Network International is also assisting.
Mango growers’ groups will be exhibiting their fresh produce as well as the processed products of the manufacturers of juices and purees, dried mango, wine and others. Grafted planting materials of different mango varieties as well as other exotic fruit trees will be available.
The public will also have the chance to buy fresh fruits from the growers themselves. One of the big exhibitors will be Ricardo Tolentino of Laoag City. He is a mango grower with trees grown on a total of 60 hectares in different towns in Ilocos Norte.
Tolentino is also a mango contractor who is contracting the mango trees not only in Ilocos Norte but also in Cagayan and Kalinga. He has a total of 200 workers involved in flower induction, spraying against pests and diseases, harvesting and postharvest handling. Tolentino is a previous national winner of the Gawad Saka Awards in the category of mango production.
The group of Evelyn Grace from Zambales will also be exhibiting their products. Zambales is a major mango producing province. It is claimed that Zambales produces one of the sweetest mangoes in the country.
One important highlight of the event is the free consultation that will be rendered by a panel of experts headed by Antonio Rola himself. Farmers could bring out their problems and possible solutions will be given by the experts.
Another highlight would be the market matching so that the mango growers would be able to know the requirements of buyers. That could lead to business collaboration among the growers and traders.
There are still many things that farmers could learn in mango production. One possible approach to more efficient production and marketing would be the clustering of mango growers who could synchronize their fruit production for a particular target market. The members of the cluster could follow certain production protocols so that their harvests would be acceptable to the market, especially the export market that is very particular about chemical residues and other quality requirements.
We have been told that exports of mango from Guimaras have stopped due to the fact that there is not enough volume that would warrant a viable operation for the traders.
We have also learned that a mango processor’s shipment to Korea was rejected because of inferior packaging materials. Which means that there are still many things to be learned by our growers and processors. And the agri-fairs and mango festivals could go a long way in disseminating the right technologies.
By Zac B. Sarian