Guimaras mangoes are seen exhibited at a booth at the Manggahan Festival grounds in Jordan, Guimaras. PHOTO BY TMX MARKETING

ILOILO City – Some 171 mango growers and producers from Guimaras are recipients of P18-million grant, a joint project of the World Bank, the host local government unit (LGU) and the beneficiaries.

Guimaras provincial agriculturist Ronnie Morante on Monday said that 60 percent of the fund comes from World Bank and 20 percent each from the provincial government and the growers and producers to bank roll the “mango production, consolidation and marketing enterprise” program.

They have identified three clusters for the project composed of the Guimaras mango growers as lead production group, Jordan farmers’ multipurpose coop as cluster member and the producers.

The farmers will receive financing and technical support, among others for the production of mango trees, Morante said in an interview.

A consolidation area plant will be constructed complete with facilities such as the hot water treatment and boxes.

The plant with an estimated worth of P9.3 million is expected to be constructed by third quarter of this year. Production support will start January 2019.

During harvest, their produce will be purchased using a pre-arranged price where farmers are already assured of profit.

All fruits will then be subjected to hot water treatment to ensure that they are of the required number of days when picked and they are pests resistant. This is one way to ensure the quality of the fruit that will be traded.

Under this system, roughly 20 percent of the production in Guimaras will undergo the hot water treatment and certified.

Guimaras mango has been awarded the Geographical Indicator (GI) seal in 2017. The GI seal stamped in each mango fruit means that it is an authentic product of Guimaras.

To date Guimaras has 279,822 mango trees and around 40 percent are utilized.

Morante said that with this project, they hoped to increase by around 17.7 percent and they would be able to “reach out to smaller farmers”.

Meantime, Elena Quezon, Provincial Economic Development Officer said that the GI has enticed more foreign investors to invest in Guimaras mangoes.

Also, the Guimaras mangoes have become more appealing to buyers. In March this year, they brought some 1.5 metric tons of mangoes in a trade fair in Manila.

She shared that they have to hold on to their products just to last for two days because they were already were selling like hotcakes right on day one. The mangoes were sold at P250 per kilo.

On Friday, the province kicked off its annual Manggahan Festival where guests have a chance to partake of mango products in the “eat-all-you-can” event for only P120 in 30 minutes. The festival will culminate this May 22. (PNA)

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