SouthCot’s Fuentes urges farmers to plant more durian, mango

She said the provincial agriculture office has already distributed more than 30,000 seedlings of various high value fruits in the province’s move to enhance the local agribusiness industry.

In her state of the province address, she said 21,880 seedlings of mangoes and 4,027 durian saplings were distributed in the province’s 10 municipalities last year.

Furthermore, 3,173 seedless pomelo planting materials and 1,476 grafted lanzones plantlets were likewise distributed to the farmers.

A total of almost 750 farmers benefitted from the project.

“We will not stop the distribution until we have planted 10,000 hectares of durian. We want to be competitive with major durian-producing areas like Davao City and North Cotabato,” she said.

Fuentes noted, too, that demand for mango in the international market is huge.

She said that the province’s demonstration farm would be enhanced so it can produce more planting materials and assist farmers. The said farm, based in the town of Banga, produced 55,000 fruit tree saplings in 2005. A total of 25,640 mangoes were distributed to farmers on a plant-now, pay-later scheme.

These planting materials were reportedly planted on 247 hectares of land across the province.

The governor said the farm is also producing durian, lanzones, calamansi and pomelo planting materials.

At 2,825 hectares, mango is the second most planted fruit crop in the province, second only to banana, which has 5,173 hectares, according to the provincial agriculture office.

The province also produces 1,399 metric tons of durian although data on the area used by durian farmers were not immediately available.

Fuentes promised that support facilities, like farm-to-market roads, will continue to be built this year to ensure that farmers can easily bring their produce to the market. (MindaNews)