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And now, Mango blooms in Region VIII



"Leyte is now highly competitive in mango production, contrary to speculations that mangoes cannot be grown in Region VIII," Engineer Danilo B. Palang, High Value Commercial Crops regional Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture-VIII, proudly said.

Enginner Palang said that the number of mango trees grown in the region increased from 100,000 to 262,000 trees or 2,620 hectares planted based on the latest farm survey conducted by DA's Project Management Office (PMO). Out of this figure, 35% are already fruit bearing while the remaining 65% are non-bearing yet. Of the total number of mango trees, 90% can be found in Northwestern Leyte specially in Palompon, Villaba, Isabel, Ormoc, Hilongos, Bato and Matalom and part of Southern Leyte, while 10% are in the other provinces of the region. Its average yield ranges from 70 to 100 kg/tree/harvest.

Quality-wise, Leyte's "carabao" variety of Lam-ao strain can compete with the mangoes coming from Guimaras-Iloilo, Guadalupe-Cebu and Davao because of its sweet flavor and enviable appearance. Engineer Palang explained that these likeable traits of our local mangoes can attract traders outside the region to market such exotic fruit. However, HVCC Regional Coordinator Palang said the outlets of our produce are still within the region. In fact, we still import from other mango-producing areas. "This means that we still need to intensify mango production in our region," Engr. Palang stressed.

This positive development in our mango industry only confirms that northwestern Leyte has the best soil, the lugo clay, which is suitable for mango production. And with the now-developed mango production technologies in Leyte State University at Baybay, Leyte and in Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Center (RIARC) at Abuyog, Leyte, the region would probably go into massive mango production.

DA-VIII Regional Executive Director Leo P. Cañeda said the mango industry in the Philippines supports about 2.5 million farmers. "Mango is the country's national fruit and is tagged as a sure export winner. Our mangoes are good in quality. we export them to Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, Australia and Korea," RED Cañeda concluded.



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