DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Durian Industry Council is looking at potential new planting areas, particularly within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), on expectations of a surge in frozen durian exports to China.
Council President Candelario B. Miculob said the set of export protocols and other requirements have been submitted.
“The information we got from the Philippine (Bureau of) Quarantine is that all the requirements for the protocol are already with the Chinese government. It is more of the scheduling of inspection from Chinese quarantine of the facilities of the processors,” he told reporters.
At present, four Philippine fruits are exported to China: coconut, banana, mango and pineapple.
Durian’s inclusion would require an amendment to the existing bilateral trade agreement.
“We hope that within the year durian will be included,” Mr. Miculob said, noting that several Chinese traders have expressed interest in importing frozen durian, with one proposing an order of 260 tons or about 200 container vans a year.
“Because we lack the bilateral trade (agreement) with China, we can’t enter yet,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr. Miculob said the council is thinking of expansion plans in other parts of Mindanao.
“(Mindanao) is not usually hit by typhoons and we should capitalize on this advantage to benefit other farmers, especially those in BARMM areas,” he said.
The council has also been in talks with indigenous people (IP) communities occupying idle land.
Mr. Miculob said the industry’s target is to plant durian to an additional 1,000 hectares per year.
Davao City, currently the biggest producer in the country, has about 3,000 hectares of durian farms. — Maya M. Padillo