MANGO FESTIVAL REPORT: Little Baguio Of Cagayan Has Biggest Concentration Of Fruiting Mangoes In The Province.

Carabao Mango from Region 1

At the recent mango festival at the Centris Walk in Quezon City, we were able to meet people that would be hard to find elsewhere.

Just like the mango growers from the remote town of Rizal in Cagayan that is up in the mountain near the boundary of Cagayan and Kalinga. It is also known as the Little Baguio of Cagayan, inhabited by some 40,000 Indigenous People called Malueg.

Romeo Buncag has 3,000 fruiting mango trees in the Little Baguio of Cagayan, the town of Rizal.

Rizal town, according to Romeo Buncag, acting town mayor, has the biggest concentration of mangoes of bearing age in the province of Cagayan with no less than 187,000 fruit bearing mango trees. Buncag, himself, has 3,000 trees spread on 30 hectares.

The problem has been that buyers have been taking advantage of the poor mango farmers. At farmgate, the buyers usually offered only P5 per kilo. And the curious thing is that the buyers pack their purchases in cartons marked “Cebu Mango”.

Tessie Isidro Guitering of DTI helped introduce interventions to address the problems of mango farmers in Rizal town.

Of late, however, some interventions have been introduced under the initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the local government. A training program has been introduced to update the mango farmers on the importance of good agricultural practices (GAP).

Tessie Isidro Guitering, DTI senior trade and industry development specialist based in Region 2, said that they formed the Malueg Mango Producers Marketing Cooperative to address the concerns in mango marketing. Trainings have also been undertaken for value-adding in mango products. Men and women have undergone training in making processed mango products like mango chutney, puree, juice, concentrate, jelly, jam, wine and vinegar.

Mercy Gaño of MMSU showing exotic mangoes they showcased at the mango festival.

SOUR MANGO FROM GUIMARAS – In one taste test, the mangoes from Leon, Iloilo had beaten Guimaras mangoes in sweetness. The Guimaras mangoes in the test were sour. What could be the reason?

Rose Griesser, an organic farmer from Guimaras, explained that the Guimaras mangoes in the taste test were harvested immature. And, of course, if the fruits are harvested immature, they will be sour.

And that is the reason why the local government unit in Guimaras has passed an ordinance that mango owners harvesting their fruits below 115 days from flower initiation will be penalized P1,000 on the first offense, P2,000 on the second offense, and P3,000 and cancellation of buyer’s business permit on the third offense.

Rose further explained that when the price is very high in the market (as much as P300 per kilo) the buyers would urge the mango owners to harvest their fruits even if they are just 90 to 100 days old.

MANGOES IN REGION 12 – The mango growers of Region 12, headed by Manny Bartocillo, brought a lot of their ripe mangoes and processed mango products for sale to the mango festival.

Blemish-free carabao mango from Zambales which was selling at P150 per kilo.

Bartocillo boasted that of the 43.75 tons that he harvested from a farm he managed, there were practically no small fruits. The fruits weighed mostly 250 grams and above each. And there were practically no fruit fall. While other plantations in region12 suffered from “kurikong” there was only one tree that was affected in his farm.

Manny Bartocillo (second from right) and friends at the sales booth of Region 12.
Manny Bartocillo and a bottle of mango concentrate from Region 12.

He attributes his good harvest to proper nutrition. Each of the 15-year-old trees was fertilized with 6 kilos of complete fertilizer. First, he initiated flushing of his trees by spraying the trees with a solution of one kilo of urea per drum of water. Three months later, he applied Paclobutrazol to harden the leaves for flower induction. To prevent “kurikong” he sprayed the trees with insecticide at 4-6 pm as advised by experts.

Manny Bartocillo with big fruits of trees sprayed with Supravim.
One input that produced bigger fruits was spraying Supravim 45 days after flower induction and 10 days later. This also helped prevent fruit drop in the early stage of fruit development.

Loreen Itable with samples of dried fruits that their company, Itable Agri Industrial Corp., is developing, including dried makopa, jackfruit, buko and guyabano.
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