The Philippines is expected to export at least 54,000 metric tons (MT) of premium fresh durian to China this year, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The DA said stakeholders are now beefing up their production to meet the high demands entailed by fruit export deal secured by Manila during the president’s state visit to China.
Davao City-based Eng Seng Food Products and Belviz Farms are just two of the private durian growers that are preparing for the Chinese market for Philippine durians.
“China is the biggest durian market, so we are very excited and expect that if the China market is open, our target is to have a container van export weekly,” Eng Seng Food Products CEO John Tan said in a statement issued by the DA.
Moreover, Eng Seng is targeting to export 300 to 500 container vans of durian this year, Tan added.
The preferred durian varieties for export are Puyat, Duyaya and D101 because of their golden yellow flesh and pleasant taste.
“I think the Philippines has a very big potential in the export market especially with our good varieties like the Puyat and the Duyaya varieties,” said Emmanuel Belviz, Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC) president and Belviz Farms owner.
He also said the DIADC is closely working with the government, particularly the DA, for the preparation of the required documents and protocols.
They are also helping the government assist other industry players especially small farmers to improve their production and comply with the export requirements, Belviz said.
“This is both a blessing and a challenge. Blessing, because we have market already, good price. A challenge because this is an export market. We need to produce better durian fruits and a more food safe. So hopefully, the association, together with the DA, can help these farmers to reach that market,” he said.
Belviz said durian will be one of the country’s top export products in the next five years.
The DA said the Davao regional field office is working on a five-year development plan for the durian industry that will “intensify technical support and the provision of quality planting materials, fertilizer and pesticide, equipment and tools, as well as the establishment of postharvest facilities.”
“Plant more durian because ang market, ang demand ng durian ay napakalaki, especially with the opening of the Chinese market, sobrang laki at sobrang kulang ng durian natin dito. I encourage everyone to plant more durian,” Belviz said.