This early, organizers of Agrilink 2017 are now well prepared for the staging of the 2017 Agrilink trade expo which is slated for October 5-7, 2017 at the World Trade Center on Puyat Avenue in Pasay City.
Antonio V. Roces, president of FRLD which stages the yearly agri trade exhibition, said that tropical fruits will be given special focus considering their great potential as contributor to the growth of the economy.FRLD stands for Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development, a non-government organization (NGO)
He cites the report of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry that China has just signed a $1 billion trade agreement that entails the export of tropical fruits. These include durian, banana, pineapple and mango along with other crops like coffee, cacao and poultry products.
Roces added that Russia has earmarked to buy an estimated P2.5 billion worth of Philippine agricultural produce that also include tropical fruits like those in demand by China. Then there is the increasing demand for frozen and freeze-dried Philippine fruits by buyers from Australia, Singapore, China and Japan.
The FRLD president said that even value-added products like wine and liquor derived from calamansi, mango and molasses are starting to make headway into regions like Europe. “The success stories of our tropical fruits are the result of our continuous improvement in the supply chain: selecting and developing better varieties, promoting them, and enhancing our competitiveness in the global market,” he added.
Candelario “Larry” Miculob, chairman of the Durian Industry Council of Davao City, said that “To really optimize our fruit’s potential though, we need to overcome the challenges of maintaining the momentum our products have made into international markets. For instance, if we want to export more agricultural produce, we need to identify and cultivate varieties that can withstand the transport and handling to service these markets. An example is the Cavendish banana which has been the staple banana variety that we export.”
Selected varieties that are well liked by consumers in target foreign markets should be produced in big volumes. Just like the Puyat variety of durian, for instance. This is a variety well liked by consumers in Japan and elsewhere. This should be grown in big areas and continuous research should be undertaken to improve not only production but also postharvest handling and processing into products with added value.
Postharvest facilities not only involve minimizing wastage during harvest. They refine the production process that results in new products, as well as prolong the life of our products while complying with international standards. “Carabao mango is a good example,” Roces said. “After testing and selecting the strengths and weaknesses of various varieties of mango, we propagated the best variety on a large scale.”
Miculob added: “Postharvest facilities like cold storage help in extending the shelf life of our produce while they are exported to other countries. We further developed postharvest processes such as hot water dip, vapor heat and ultraviolet treatments to comply with global standards like phytosanitary requirements.
Agricultural mechanization is another focus of the forthcoming Agrilink trade show. But that will be the subject of another column regarding other highlights of the big event. Attendees will be provided with easy access to the largest array of the latest and the best agricultural machinery, equipment, inputs, technologies and products and services.
For more details about Agrilink, contact FRLD at (02) 838-4491 and 0917-588-8799. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/agrilinkPH.