Davao wants to boost durian production

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) – The Durian Industry Council of Davao City wants to increase the city’s durian production this year to promote and institutionalize Davao as the “major durian producing city of the country.”

Jacinto Adlaon Jr., the council’s public information officer, said in a media forum at SM City Davao Monday that the industry’s goal will be discussed in the Durian Summit 2013 to be held on March 13-14 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel here.

He cited that the city produces around 6,000 metric tons (mt) of durian a year or 2,000 mt durian per hectare (ha). He said a total of 3,000 ha here are planted to durian.

But he added that a hectare of durian trees can produce up to 10 mt durian fruits if appropriate technology and practices are being implemented.

“We need to revive the durian industry here as our city is originally known for it,” Adlaon told reporters.

He cited that one of the sector’s challenges was in the cultivation, particularly at the nurseries, adding that some durian nursery operators lack the knowledge of whether the seeds or seedlings will have greater yields.

He noted that it will take five years after planting for a durian tree to bear fruit.

Acting city agriculturist Val Turtur said the summit will be a venue for durian farmers or growers, contractors, processors and buyers to discuss ways on how to support the growth of the durian industry in the city and the Davao Region.

The summit is being organized by the city’s Durian Industry Council in cooperation with the city government, City Agriculturist’s Office, Davao City Investment and Promotions Office, and the Department of Agriculture.

He said the summit, which is the first to be led by the city’s durian sector, will be a venue for local durian industry stakeholders “to disseminate new farming technologies, share relevant market information and discuss crucial issues and concerns affecting Mindanao durian sector.”

Inviting some 300 participants nationwide, the organizers said the summit will “focus on best practices on durian production, and emerging challenges and trends in the industry such as climate change adaptation, organic farming, integrated pest and disease management and the latest marketing and supply chain models.”

Candelario Miculob of the Mindanao Fruit Council, also at the media forum, said that aside from the lack of technology, the shift of farmers’ focus to other crops such as banana and pineapple caused the low production of durian in the city.

Miculob said participants of the summit will be invited to visit durian farms here on March 13.

He also cited that they wanted the summit to be a yearly event for Mindanao fruit growers to hold dialogues with government agencies to discuss policy reforms and government supports for the development of the Mindanao fruit industry. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)