Mango growers urged to explore market opportunities in Australia

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 May) – The Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley urged Filipino farmers to explore the possibility of exporting mangoes to Australia.

Kimberley said in an interview that they have huge market opportunities since there is a period in Australia where their farmers could not produce mangoes unlike in Philippines where the trees bear fruits all year round.

He said there are Filipino mangoes exported to Australia but in smaller volumes and that they encourage more companies to explore the market there.

“In Australia, we can only produce it for half a year. There’s half a year in Australia where it’s harder to get mangoes, so there’s actually opportunity and our agricultural imports allow the importation of mangoes to Australia,” he said.

Kimberley said the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has been supporting a mango research project in Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) for eight years in partnership with Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.

Kimberley, who was in the city for the Philippines-Australia Friendship Week 2018 celebration, said the project aims to help increase the productivity of the farmers by capacitating them on new agricultural techniques.

He noted that there is a research site in Samar Island looking at how one can plant mango trees more closely together and have the same amount of fruits per tree, or even more.

Kimberley added that farmers learned that they are able to produce better by careful cultivation and pruning, enabling them to sell more produce.

A briefer released by the Australian Embassy said that the Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines for 2017 to 2018 was estimated at A$85 million (Php3.4 billion) that will have a catalytic effect on reform efforts and capacity of the government.

It added that Australia provided assistance to build the foundations for economic growth, most especially in the areas of education, infrastructure, and peace.

It said there are 280 Australian companies with presence in the Philippines, from business process, finance, professional services, oil and gas exploration, and resources and infrastructure. Also, it notes the total stock of Philippine investment in Australia was valued at A$1.3 billion (Php52 billion). (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)