Buoyed by the success of the recent MinDA Fruits Festival in Baguio City, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is firming up ties with airlines for sustained shipment of Mindanao fruits to other key cities in Visayas and Luzon.

In a meeting with airline executives in Davao Wednesday, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has sought possible partnership with the airlines for regular shipment of perishable Mindanao fruits at special freight rates so these can reach key market destinations in the country.

"This is an exciting time for all of us. We shall become partners in our collective effort to promote Mindanao fruits in the Philippines," Sec. Piñol said, stressing that “this will benefit both local farmers and airline companies as this provides cargo traffic for domestic trade and incentive to increase agricultural productivity.”

Airline representatives who joined the meeting include Victor Suarez, Philippine Airlines Area Head for Mindanao Sales & Services; Jean Toni De Guzman, Cebu Pacific Cargo Sales Supervisor; and Trixia Ann Tañedo, Air Asia Government Affairs and Policy.

The program is expected to sustain the gains of the MinDA Fruits Festival in Baguio City slated last August 25, 2019, which generated Php1.1 million revenues for the sale of around 22 metric tons of Durian, Mangosteen, Rambutan, Lanzones, Pomelo and Marang along the city’s Session Road.

Sec. Piñol, a former agriculture secretary, is eyeing for weekly shipments of highly perishable fruits from Davao to major cities such as Clark, Cebu, Iloilo and Manila, every Friday and Saturday. 

MinDA shall coordinate with local government units to sustain the program, and will lead in the creation of database for all Mindanao-based fruit growers. Through a consolidator, MinDA shall validate and identify the expected volume of production to ensure its sustainability.

“We need to have accurate data on the volume of fruits so that we can meet the demand of the markets in other areas”, Sec. Piñol said.

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