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Friday, April 12, 2024

‘Huge market’: Davao City seeks to boost thriving durian export to China

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DAVAO CITY—China’s importation of durian from this city has opened a broad market for what used to be a domestic consumption commodity.

Dario Divino, the designated focal person on industrial crops at the City Agriculturist Office, said it has accredited three importers from China, and “there is now a huge market for durian.”

“It is really a big challenge because the market for durian is not only local. We also have China now. There are three approved importers from China,” he said.

He did not say how big was the demand from the three importers but he said the market has been opened wide.

Besides, he added, “we also have Dabawenyos from abroad who buy durian here.”

“They extract durian flesh with the seed and blast freeze it then vacuum it before transporting it to other countries. With this process, the durian can be kept for two years with proper management,” Divino said.

He said blast freezing keeps the sugar content of durian intact.

He said the “Puyat” variety is highly recommended and being encouraged for planting “because of its export potential.”

“It is delicious and heavier in weight, and it is also a heavy excellent fruiter, and its branches do not spread unlike the Arancillo variety,” he said, as he noted there would be more trees of the Puyat variety that could be planted per hectare compared to the other varieties.

Last year, 4,408 farmers have planted durian as a crop to 3,388.65 hectares. They harvested 12,929.63 metric tons from 2,176.32 hectares also last year.

“We have a lot of durian but we still do our best to expand because some of our farmers reverted to planting banana. Some farmers also went back to plant coconut, although this is advantageous because durian can be intercropped with it, and even with bananas, with good management,” he said.

Divino said many areas in Davao City are conducive for durian production because of their high land elevation. Durian thrives in areas with elevation of 800 meters above sea level and lower, he added.

He also disclosed that the City Agriculturist Office (CAGRO) has a program for durian farmers in Baguio District, which it linked up with the Department of Agriculture XI for free durian seedlings.

Farmers who have open areas located 800 meters above sea level and lower have been encouraged to coordinate with their office and ask about the intercropping technology. The CAGRO would start this year to conduct training on durian planting and its proper management.

“These free seminars would be conducted in every district. Those who are interested may come to our offices located in different districts of Davao City,” Divino said.

Image credits: PNA/Robinson Niñal Jr.

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