DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 June) – Davao City’s bid to become “the biggest fruit market” in Asia in 10 years has been given a boost with the inauguration of the P10-million Asian Fruit Market just outside the Abreeza Mall here on Saturday.
Tourism regional director Robert Alabado III said the project is intended to test the waters if it’s possible to open a bigger market in the city where fruits from the Philippines and neighboring countries can be sold to domestic and foreign tourists.
He said they intend to to showcase the local fruits in a presentable manner, being one of the main attractions to tourists that “will remind them of Davao.”
The Asian Fruit Market is “a short-term venue to showcase the agricultural produce of Mindanao particularly offering high value fruits, commercial crops, root crops, and vegetables.” Other products include ornamental plants, herbs, and other fruit-based products.
“What we are trying to do is putting agri-tourism as part of tourism in Davao. Davao has long been known for its fruits like durian, pomelo, mangosteen. If tourists are coming here it’s always the fruits that they are looking for. This is one way of presenting to them in an organized manner the fruits that they can taste,” he said.
The Asian Fruit Market is located where the Fountain Area of the mall once stood.
He said that if Thailand managed to run a hectare of fruit market, he envisions to surpass this by rolling out a two-hectare fruit market in the future.
The Asian Fruit Market has a total area of 1,538 square meters and is rented out for free by the Abreeza Mall for one year. It has five stalls (7.5 sqms.), 10 Vinta units (15 sqms.), three small tents (25 sqms.), and one big tent (192 sqms.) for selling agri products and dining.
It had 26 occupants as of opening day.
The fruit market is aimed at putting Davao as the home of the biggest fruit market in Asia in 10 years by showcasing “Mindanao’s abundance in high value fruits, commercial crops, root crops, vegetables and products.”
It is also hoped to encourage active involvement and participation of the farmers and their communities in the regions of Mindanao.
“This is just to start and to have a model what the market can be. We are envisioning that this market would have a more permanent place. If Thailand has one hectare, can we have two hectares for the fruits of the Philippines?,” Alabado asked. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MIindaNews)