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Thursday, October 2, 2014

DTI holds mango forum in ZamPen

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-9 in partnership with the Mango Cluster Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Pagadian City Zamboanga del Sur Mango Growers Association conducted on Wednesday a Mango Forum for Zamboanga Peninsula Cluster at Hotel Guillermo here.

Anchored on the theme “Gearing up ZamPen Mango Stakeholders for the 2015 ASEAN Integration,” the forum was participated in by some 60 mango producers, spraying contractors, traders and other government agencies from all over the region.

DTI-9 Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain in her opening message said “this a very good venue for us to exchange information, developments, ideas, challenges and opportunities needed  for the mango industry as we face a very good opportunity in the ASEAN economic integration.”

She said added “this is the best time and venue for us to hear from you – your concerns, challenges and problems that are preventing the industry from growing as we are expecting.”

“In terms of industry as a whole are we really growing? Are we going out of Region 9, are we going out of Zamboanga del Sur and ultimately are we going to really bring our mango outside?” Jain asked.

“We are looking at the ASEAN economic integration as a big opportunity, because we are considering the 600 million population of the six-member ASEAN countries as a huge market for mango,” Jain stressed.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio Cerilles whose message was read by Provincial Agriculturist Joel Sabellano, was elated that his province was chosen as the venue of the mango forum. “We understand the significance of mango in our economy.

The Philippine mango is very competitive; it is somehow much sweeter than the mango from Europe,” the governor said.

On the other hand, Philippine Mango Industry Federation Inc. president, Virginia Dela Fuente who was the keynote speaker during the forum, challenged the local mango producers to organize and empower themselves in order for the industry to progress and succeed.