By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BAGUIO CITY – Even before the successful First MinDA Fruit Festival held here, Lingayen, Pangasinan Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil and other officials of the local government units in Luzon wanted to host the tastiest but cheapest fruits from Mindanao.
According to Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairperson and Secretary Manny Piñol, Mayor Bataoil signified his intention to host the fruits’ galore like durian, mangosteen, pomelo, lanzones, marang, rambutan, pineapple, lacatan banana, passion fruit, sweet-water or aromatic coconut and guyabano being ferried here by commercial airlines and cargo trucks from Mindanao.
Many of these fruits were sold by traders at Burnham Park and Session Road last August 24 and 25.
|Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chief and Secretary Manny Pinol (4th from left) poses with Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong (3rd from right) and the staff of the MinDA before the start of the First MinDA Fruit Festival held recently in Baguio City.|
The MinDA chief asked consumers for understanding that many who joined the queue as early at 5 Am Sunday were not able to buy because the 20 tons’ supply were wiped out in just three hours.
Aside from Lingayen, Piñol eyes Isabela, Munoz,Nueva Ecija, Manila City, Cebu, Iloilo, Bicol, and Cagayan Valley as target areas for the abundance of fruits in the southern part of the country.
“In fact I talked to Cesar Chavez already the chief of staff of mayor Isko (Moreno). This will be the advocacy of the Mindanao Development Authority”.
Piñol cited that he will double the tonnages of fruits unloaded here so everybody could buy the tastiest fruits but cheaper than P20 to P30 a kilo compared to those sold by local retailers here.
“I was told the fruits in Baguio City come from Divisoria and the fruits in Divisoria come from Mindanao. Okay, now Mindanao diretso na sa Baguio City. Nalimit na natin ang tier ng middleman. It will be good for the farmers. It will be good for the consumers”.
Next week, according to the former governor of North Cotabato, folks here will be treated, too with cheap and sumptuous tuna from Lebak and Kalamansig all in Sultan Kudarat Province.
“And the next will not be just fruits, we will look up at tuna. Panga ng tuna, buntot ng tuna, even buong tuna. Marami sa Kalamansig marami sa Lebak kulang lang kami ng access sa merkado”.
On Wednesday, the MinDA chair said, he will be meeting with commercial airlines for a discounted price per kilo of cargo for the perishable products like lanzones, rambutan, mangosten, marang, and others.
These fruits are cheaper because of the oversupply thanks to the harvest season there in Mindanao
“Now meron na regular flight ng Davao – Clark. Clark will be our gateway to Luzon. Kasi ang Manila laging puno. And on Wednesday in Davao I have invited managers because I will ask for special cargo rate in support we will invite Air Asia and Philippines Airlines as sponsor of the fruit festival in Baguio City,” he stressed.
The former agriculture secretary will meet with Mindanao food growers also to identify the sources of the supply chain, volume,and the most sought products that can be supplied to the places in Luzon and the Visayas.
Pinol told this writer in a breakfast at a hotel here that despite hauling the highly perishable goods like lanzones, the suppliers and traders in Mindanao can still sell the product here cheaply.
For example, a premium big sweet fleshy longkong lanzones can be sold here for P80 a kilo versus its counterpart here that fetches for P150 a kilo.
He cited that a farmer in the southern part of the country sells it for P35 a kilo while the consolidator, airline, and cargo truck owner and trader from Clark Airport to here imposed five, twenty-five, and fifteen pesos per kilo ceilings, respectively.
A green durian was sold here for P80 a kilo while the ripe one was sold for P100 a kilo.
A buyer told this writer that durian was sold at Sablan town in Benguet for P250 a kilo.
READ ANOTHER ARTICLE: