THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it expects to sell at least one million kilos of mangoes in Metro Manila through the Metro Mango Marketing Program, helping farmers dispose of this season’s bumper crop which was not anticipated because of a failure of coordination and monitoring.

“We’re launching this Metro Mango Marketing Program in the hope that we’ll be able to sell the produce of our farmers to our Metro Manila consumers,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol told reporters.

The DA estimates that mango will be in surplus this season by 2 million kilos in Luzon.

Ang problema lang, hindi agad nakipag-coordinate ang mga farmers na meron silang expected na oversupply and siguro nagkulang rin siguro ang DA sa monitoring ng mga event na ito (The problem is the farmers did not indicate that they are expecting an oversupply and maybe the DA also had shortcomings in monitoring these kinds of events),” he said.

Also present in at launch was Tetusji Yurakawa, a representative from Japanese fruit importer Diamond Star.

“They have committed 100 metric tons (in additional mango purchases) if possible this season,” Mr. Piñol said. The market for mango in Japan is 12,000 MT.

He also noted that the use of chemicals by mango farmers affects the volume of mango exported to Japan.

“From a high of 7,000 metric tons ang ating (our) supply ng mangga sa (of mango in) Japan, we’re down to about 300 metric tons because of those issues,” he said, referring to the maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.05 parts per million for chlorpyrifos and cypermethrine, which are active ingredients in insecticides.

Mr. Piñol said that these practices will be addressed as the roadmap for mangoes is implemented. He also encouraged mango farmers to produce other kinds of mango products.

“We are, of course, encouraging our farmers to go into processing and value-adding. This is the way to go for Philippine agriculture. We must focus on value-adding,” he said.

Some mango products also featured in the event are mango vinegar and pickled mangoes. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang