DAVAO CITY — A laboratory for determining the chemical residue level on mangoes is being planned for construction in Davao del Sur as part of preparations to export the fruit to New Zealand initially, and later to other foreign markets.
Delia M. Ayano, Department of Trade and Industry director for Davao del Sur, said stakeholders have started drafting the proposal.
“There are groups planning to sell their mangoes abroad, so the proposed laboratory will help them meet the standards that the international markets will set up,” Ms. Ayano told the media last week.
She added that Vicente T. Lao, honorary consul of New Zealand in Mindanao and chair of the Mindanao Business Council, is the project’s point person.
Mr. Lao said the facility is still in the planning stage and that New Zealand is helping draft the proposal.
“It is still in the planning stage, but I hope this will be realized,” he told BusinessWorld in a text message.
Davao del Sur accounted for over 77% of the 53,355 metric tons of mangoes that the Davao Region produced in 2018, based on Philippine Statistics Authority data.
The establishment of a regional mango council was initiated in November during a forum organized by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to discuss best practices as well as ways to improve crop production.
The council aims to link up with other mango groups in Mindanao.
The government, through MinDA, earlier signed a three-year co-investment project with the New Zealand Embassy and NZ G2G Partnerships Ltd. for mango exports.
One of the projects under the program is a feasibility study for setting up quality assurance systems for fresh mango to ensure compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standards. — Carmelito Q. Francisco