Mindanao fruit and vegetable growers to establish links with Visayas buyers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:30

Mindanao’s fruit and vegetable producers will be seeking to expand their market reach when they meet with prospective buyers during the 1st Visayas-Mindanao Fruit and Vegetable Market Encounter in Cebu City, on May 19.

Organized by the Northern Mindanao Vegetable Producers Association (NorMinVeggies), the Mindanao Fruit Industry Council (MinFruit) and the Vegetable Industry of Southern Mindanao (VICSMIN), the event will provide Mindanao’s fruit and vegetable growers with an opportunity to showcase their produce and to establish direct relationships with processors, consolidators and exporters based in the Visayas.

“Through this activity, Mindanao growers will gain a better understanding of the quality and volume requirements of fruit and vegetable buyers in the Visayas,” says Atty. Antonio Partoza, MinFruit President.   

Supported by USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, the market encounter will also feature seminars on fruit and vegetable processing, post-harvest handling and transport, product consolidation, and bulk marketing.

MinFruit, VICSMIN and NorminVeggies, in partnership with the GEM Program, have been implementing initiatives aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Mindanao’s fruit and vegetable industries.

Through seminars on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), effective post-handling techniques and market promotion activities, the producer associations have trained more than 18,000 small-hold fruit and vegetable farmers—including former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants and their families—to improve their production methods and, in consequence, obtain higher profits.

The efforts have helped to increase the domestic out-shipment of key fruit and vegetable products from Mindanao and enabled local growers to penetrate lucrative institutional markets in the Visayas and the rest of the country.

Since 2008, GEM’s direct marketing assistance to Mindanao’s fruit growers and processors has resulted in approximately $24.5 million in increased revenues for the sector.  GEM’s assistance to the vegetable industry has allowed local growers to ship approximately $3.6 million worth of produce to key domestic markets.

GEM has also assisted 10 Mindanao-based processing firms to acquire Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification, which is in line with the program’s goal of helping to expand the export of selected high-value commodities grown by small-holder producers in the region.

The 1st Visayas-Mindanao Fruit and Vegetable Market Encounter is co-organized by the Department of Agriculture VII Regional Office and East West Seed Corporation. — GEM