MinDA, Baquio LGU Ink Deal
Sustainable Fruit Market. MinDA Secretary Piñol formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Baguio City Mayor Magalong which opened access
for Mindanao fruit farmers to Cordillera markets as well as allow exchange for their products 
to be sold in Mindanao markets. The trading link will increase
agricultural productivity and help fruit farmers earn decent and 
sustainable income.

Davao City - In a bid to sustain the gains of the first and second MinDA Fruit Festival in Baguio City, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Mayor Benjamin Magalong officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sustain the fruits festival in Baguio.

The MOU signing held last September 27 in the city formally establishes the trading link for products of Mindanao and Cordillera.

MinDA Chief Piñol mentioned, "We are concretizing our agreement with the City government of Baguio. In exchange of our fruits in Mindanao, we will buy strawberries and other high value vegetables from them," Piñol said.

Mayor Magalong, in a statement said that “an agreement between Baguio LGU and MinDA will formalize the barter trade of Mindanao and Cordillera to provide markets for the products of the two regions at much cheaper price”.

Speaking before the members of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), Secretary Piñol urged local executives to replicate the trading deal.

“This will provide Mindanao farmers sustainable markets for their produce and allow their constituents buy fruits at prices lower than the prevailing market price”, he said.

"If you are interested, you can link with MinDA. We will work as the facilitator of this LGU to LGU engagement. Through this direct link, we can eliminate the middlemen who ups the price and leaves no profit for the farmers"  Piñol added after he noted some LGUs signifying willingness to host MinDA fruit festival in their respective areas.

Piñol also explained that Mindanao’s problem is its weak positioning of its food.

"We do not have scarce food here. In fact, there are regions that produce commodities in excess of what they need. But due to lack of logistics, transport and access to markets, they could not sell it”, he said.

MinDA also made formal arrangements with airlines for regular cargo allocation at special freight rates; this reduces travel time and maintains quality of the perishable fruits.

The MinDA fruit festival is one of the major thrusts of MinDA which aims to encourage increased agricultural productivity and address poverty in the island-region.

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