Agriculture Secretary William Dar urged mango stakeholders to join efforts to address current issues affecting the mango industry during the opening of the 2nd Luzon Mango Congress at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Hall recently.

“Kami ay kasama niyo upang matugunan natin ng tama ang mga problema at hamong kinakaharap ng ating mga mango growers sa bansa,” Dar said.

“Mango is the third major food crop in the country.”

“There are 2.5 million people dependent on the industry, with about 7 million trees. Malaki ang kontribusyon ng pagmamangga sa overall performance ng Philippine agriculture. Mango is the third major food crop in the country,” the agriculture chief added.

In his message, the agriculture head said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will intensify its research efforts to address the setbacks caused by Cecid fly.

Cecid fly, locally known as “kurikong,” is a mosquito-like insect that lays its eggs on the fruit surface and young leaves. Its larva bore into the fruit and feed on it, leaving circular spots and holes.

As many growers ignore experts’ advice to effectively manage and control Cecid fly, the agriculture head urged the industry players to adapt and assent to the research and practices available.

If we do not have the collective and united efforts, wala pabalik-balik lang itong Cecid fly.”

“It is a united effort of the community. Let’s see to it that we understand and internalize the management and control protocols. If we do not have the collective and united efforts, wala pabalik-balik lang itong Cecid fly. As mango leaders, encourage your members to follow these procedures,” he said.

There are currently three species of Cecid fly affecting the industry: 1) P. pustalata (gall on mango leaves); 2) P. robusta (gall on mango leaves); and 3) P. frugivora (feeds on mango fruits).

Dar stressed that the mango industry can compete globally as Philippine mangoes remain the sweetest in the market.

“We need to continue massive planting and utilizing the best of planting materials. At the end of the day, the quality and volume that we have make the difference. We need to enhance and increase the hectarage devoted to mango,” Dar said, adding that local supply cannot match the demand in the global market.

As such, he also urged the stakeholders to consolidate and partner with the private sectors, and support the DA’s demand for a higher budget to unlock the full potential of the industry.

“We have to increase food production locally. That is DA’s first priority. Importation is just a fall back if our supply is not enough,” Dar said.

The 2nd Luzon Mango Congress was organized by the United Luzon Mango Stakeholders Association Incorporation (ULMSAI).

It seeks to discuss and address current challenges in the industry including pest infestation, high production raw material and production costs, decline in production, and climate change.

The results of the discussion will aid in forming new strategies to build a more sustainable future for the mango industry.



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