MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines may soon ship to the United States fresh mangoes from others parts of the country other than Guimaras Island, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said yesterday.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently only allows the exportation of mangoes from Guimaras, an island municipality in Western Visayas.
Alcala said the export accreditation for Philippine mangoes is now being expanded to cover other mango-growing areas other than Guimaras.
He said the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for Philippine mango exports have already been approved by the USDA. The Philippines, thus, is only waiting for the USDA to complete other regulatory requirements.
Mangoes grown in the island of Palawan, however, cannot be included for accreditation because of the prevailing pulp weevil infestation.
Production zones in the Philippines include Pangasinan, Zamboanga del Norte, Batangas, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, North Cotabato, and Iloilo among others.
Alcala said that if the exportation of mangoes is allowed in the US, this would give more room for investments in the sector because at present, domestic production cannot fully satisfy demand.
“The domestic supply of mango cannot fully satisfy domestic demand, but it would be beneficial for producers if we have additional market access,” said Alcala.
Alcala said the US and the Philippines are also working on increasing export of bananas both in US mainland and defense commissaries.
Alcala said the US has also committed to support the Philippines’ bid for extension of its special restriction on rice.
The Philippines is still awaiting the consensus of the four remaining countries it is in talks with for the continued imposition of high duty on rice until 2017.