111320 ube

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Mindanao's Purple Yam or Ube, grated and flavored with honey from the forests and milk from well-fed goats, will soon be in the market as "Mindanao Ube Jam.”

Braveheart Farms & Nursery of Kidapawan City which I and my children own as a family farm will be producing this new product which we will launch this December.

This is part of the Complete Value Chain advocacy for our farmers' products which I have embraced since I entered public service in 1995.

The production of the "Mindanao Ube Jam" which I will personally promote and market is the result of the "Adopt-a-Tribal Family" program which I and Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib launched last month.

Among the livelihood projects which we wanted the Ata-Manobo families to be involved with is the growing and production of Ube or the Purple Yam.

While looking for sources of Ube planting materials, I found out that many farmers in Bukidnon have existing Ube farms which are ready for harvest.

With the movement of people and goods restricted by the COVID 19 quarantine protocols, Ube farmers faced another season of failure and losses.

In the recent MinDA Tienda in Manila, about 3 tons of raw Ube were displayed but only 2.5-tons were sold at very low prices.

This made me realize that unless the Ube is processed into a high-value product ready for sale to direct end users, there will also be a problem on the marketing.

Next week, the application for Production Registration will be submitted to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) but pending that I will ask FDA to allow us to share the products to friends.

We have to work on this fast because by December, Mindanao's Ube farmers expect to harvest about 100 tons and unless this is absorbed, I will again see sad faces.

That I cannot take anymore because all my life as a farm boy, I had seen those sad faces of the farmers.

The production of the Mindanao Ube Jam is a risk that I am willing to take if only to see smiling faces of farmers.

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