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“DA will exert all efforts, use all its resources to rehabilitate the Philippine Mango Industry,” Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol vowed to pursue this during the conduct of the Second Leg Mango Stakeholders Forum held at Sison Auditorium, Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Gracing the event conducted on August 11, 2017 in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation Inc. (PMIFI), this was how Sec. Piñol seriously committed to address the issues and concerns confronting the mango industry today especially on the drastic decline of mango production in the country from 1.4million metric tons to only 800 metric tons in the previous years.

Speaking before 700 mango farmers, contractors, processors of the North Luzon Cluster and all other players in the mango industry nationwide, Sec. Piñol bared DA’s plans and programs that spelled out the 5-year Mango Development Plan or Road Map.

The nationwide consultation as integrated in the Mango Road Map is DA’s first move to plan out programs and projects to address the major concerns besetting the mango industry today.

In Luzon, this is the second leg of the 4 series of forums conducted in the country where the first leg was conducted in Davao City. The third and fourth leg was slated in Cebu and Guimaras on the third and fourth week of August, respectively.

Aside from this nationwide consultation dialogue with the mango stakeholders, Sec. Piñol underscored the importance of identifying pilot areas for a training demo that will serve as the learning center for those who would want to learn improved technologies in mango production. For this purpose, the Bureau of Plant and Industry was identified to lead the activity in partnership with the DA-RFOs, Local Government Units and farmers who are willing to use their farms as learning site.

To address the capital needs of farmers who would want to rehabilitate their existing farms, Sec. Piñol said that DA has allocated a production loan program amounting to P600 per tree as rehab cost under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).

Following the protocol in availing of said production loan, he requested the DA to identify areas for rehabilitation especially those on the masterlist of farmers who are interested to have their mango farms rehabilitated. He likewise eyed the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) – (a no interest loan that is payable after cropping season) as source of capital loans for the farmers to reinvigorate their mango farms.

With the occurrence of destructive pests and diseases in mango like the cecid fly, Sec. Piñol mentioned about his coordination with Dr. Celia Medina from the University of the Philippines regarding the conduct of a research study on the management and control of major mango pests and diseases.

In closing, Sec. Piñol called on for the stakeholders to join hands in helping the DA make these plans into reality. “Hindi ito kaya ng DA na mag-isa, kailangan nating magsama-sama upang tingnan ang ating magagawa sa problema sa mangga,” Sec. Piñol said.###

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