DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 August) – If durian and other fruits have become fewer these days and even with the celebration of the annual Kadayawan Festival, blame it on the erratic weather pattern and the “biennial” season of the fruits, the agriculture chief here said.
Durian, dubbed the king of fruits and a symbol of this city, was still priced at between P70 and P100 a kilo, with fruits varying in size from less than one kilo to as heavy as four to five kilos, and local residents would often apologize profusely to visitors for being unable to offer them more of the fruit.
Only the mangoes and the native varieties of banana remained aplenty, said Leonardo Avila III, City Agriculture Officer.
“It’s because the durian is a biennial fruit. If you notice that we have a bountiful harvest last year that the price dropped down low. We would not expect a huge harvest this year, but next year,” he said.
Besides, he added, “we have no pronounced dry season this year, with a lot of rain coming in April and May”.
The dry season usually speeds up the fruiting season.
But what the city lacked in production this season was expected to be filled in by the harvest from other provinces, like durian produced in Davao del Sur, Avila said.
“That should bring the price to go down slowly these days,” he said.
The other fruits would also come in volume by next month yet, he said.
The city has designated the month of August to observe as the beginning of the harvest season as well as to highlight the tribal ritual during harvests.
Organizers have lined up tribal and tribal-related activities, including display of cultural items and historical artifacts, dances and songs, and a selection of the tribes’ prettiest.
Street dances and trade fairs, featuring the endemic flowers and plants like the Waling-waling orchids and other cut-flowers, also add to what was already being dubbed as Mindanao’s “festival of festivals”.
Local bands provide public music in selected street corners, and night markets open up near these places. (MindaNews)