China opens its market to durian from PH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 April) – The country sent on Thursday its first export of fresh durian to Beijing, China with a volume of 18 metric tons.

Speaking during the ceremonial send-off at the Davao International Airport, Agriculture Secretary Jane C. Bacayo said the initial shipment was a realization of the country’s efforts as early as 2018 to access the Chinese market for fresh durian.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed on January 3 a bilateral agreement with China allowing the exportation of fresh durian.

Durian galore at Davao City’s Magsaysay Park. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

“We are sending an initial box to our market partners in Beijing commencing what promises to be a thriving industry in the trade of fresh durian in the country’s vigorous and ever-growing market for fresh fruit,” Bacayo said.

He added that the competitive participation in foreign trade is one of the “most potent and promising means” to increase private investment in agriculture and uplift the Filipino farmers.

Marila L. Corpuz, assistant regional director of Department of Agriculture-Davao, added that China has an enormous demand for fresh durian, presenting an opportunity to the local farmers to expand their durian farms to keep up with the growing market.

“The demand in China is so vast. It’s so huge but our production is only so little. That’s why there will be no competition because we have so much demand in China. We are looking into expansion area… then we will partner with investors to invest into production to maintain the yield,” she added.

Durian farmers from Region 12 and Caraga Region have been tapped for the supply of export quality durian.

Davao City 2nd District Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, committee chair on agriculture, emphasized the need to expand the production and observe the phytosanitary protocols for the exportation of fresh durian.

She said the Chinese government’s General Administration of Customs accredited five durian packaging facilities and 58 farms in Davao where the supply of fresh durian for export to China will be sourced.

“I look forward to seeing our farmers have an increase in their income and an improved living standard. These exports not only of durian but also of other agricultural products will greatly help the economy of Davao City,” she said.

She hopes the volume of durian exports to China will increase. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)