The Philippine Fruit Association Inc. (PFA), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), is pushing for a stronger promotion of indigenous and exotic fruits to improve livelihood and nutrition.
During the 26th National Fruit Symposium held here on Wednesday, the group said it aims to promote indigenous fruit species and their important role in the well-being and income of people.
Base on the data of National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL), about 300 edible fruit and nut species are grown in the Philippines.
5 of these are considered major fruits (banana, pineapple, citrus, papaya, and mango). The five species constitute 87 percent of the country’s total area and 95 percent of the total volume of fruit production.
Dr. Lavernee Gueco, NPGRL head, said that among the 300 edible fruits and nut species, only about 30 species are considered economically important but not fully utilized.
“The country has more than a hundred endemic fruits and nut, however, none has so far become a major crop of national importance and are underutilized, underexplored or totally neglected fruits,” Gueco said.
Speaking at the ongoing four-day forum at the Apo View Hotel, DA-11 Director Ricardo Oñate said Davao City is dubbed as the country’s fruit basket and it is the major supplier of agri-products. It is also a major export supplier of banana, durian, and pineapple for the past five years, he added
“This forum coincides with DA’s food security plan. We are promoting not only fruits for health and food security but also promoting fruits for income generation and integrated and sustainable rural development,” Oñate added.
The forum further aims to encourage interactions and collaborations among participants from the government and the private sectors. Among the invited speakers are experts in conservation, utilization, pest management, varietal registration, accreditation of fruit nurseries, and export to various countries. (PNA)
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