LINGAYEN--- The biggest gathering of Philippine mango industry stakeholders took place at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Gymnasium here as the Province of Pangasinan hosted the three-day 12th National Mango Congress starting February 24.
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., the guest of honor and speaker, expressed elation on the choosing of Pangasinan for this year’s congress which highlighted the province’s leading position as the top mango producer in the country despite the consecutive typhoons that battered the province.
Pangasinan contributes 40% to the national mango production and accounts for 84% of the regional mango production, boosting its position as the food basket of Region 1.
While Gov. Espino claimed the country as the sixth leading mango producer and its carabao mango variety as the best in the world, it is in fact exporting only six percent of its total mango production.
It is also a sad reality that 90 percent of the very limited market share goes out as fresh mangoes, thus, Gov. Espino cited the big potential for the industry’s growth in exporting fresh and processed mangoes in the world market.
“Obviously, we need to work harder to establish a stronger foothold in the global export market, and to find aggressive but effective ways and means to capture a bigger slice of that potential foreign market,” he said.
He also advocated for improvement in production efficiencies thru the principle of economies of scale to become competitive even as he espoused greater inter-provincial cooperation to reach optimum supply levels for mango processing.
Gov. Espino urged the participants to formulate a more relevant and cohesive national effort to develop and promote the Philippine mango industry.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, represented by by Rene Rafael Espino, National Program Coordinator of High Value Commercial Crops Program, encouraged mango industry players to build a stable, sustainable and globally competitive mango industry that is capable of addressing the demands of the domestic and world markets.
The provincial government feted the participants to a night of fellowship with officials and employees and cultural presentations during the first day of the congress at the Capitol Plaza which afforded them of a personal look at the best capitol building in the country today.
As a sideshow, a trade fair and exhibit of various mango products and farm inputs was also opened to the participants and visitors.
Day one and two were devoted to lectures and presentations about the recent developments in the mango industry such as new technologies and various facets of mango farming.
On the last day, the participants were treated to a guided tour onboard the provincial tourist buses of various destinations in Western and Eastern Pangasinan such as visit to the Shrine of Manaoag and San Roque Dam, island hopping in Hundred Islands, Alaminos and tour of tropical fruits processing area in the province. (PIO/Rafael Manuel and Darwin Magalong)