Davao City outsources durian

The Davao City government, through the City Agriculturist’s Office (Cagro), said it will honor its obligation to have plenty of durian during the Kadayawan season by offloading the “smelly but inviting” fruit from neighboring regions.

The unusual weather patterns caused by climate change have impacted the city’s cyclical production of durian, leading to a supply shortage.

Typically, the annual amount of durian that Davao City produces can reach over 12,000 tons (MT).

Davao City recorded 15,485 tons of durian in 2019, over 17,000 tons in 2020 and 12,930 tons in 2021. However, only over 3,000 tons of durian were harvested in the first half of this year.

During the I-Speak media forum on Thursday, Cagro CEO Edgardo Haspe said that due to unusual weather patterns in the city’s highlands earlier this year, a significant number of durian trees failed to bear fruit in time for the Kadayawan season.

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He said to respond to the high demand for the fruit during the Kadayawan season, Cagro is currently in talks with durian consolidators from other regions to import durian into the city.

“We are now discussing with Davao City Durian Industry Council Association whether there are available supplies from neighboring provinces and regions based on their monitoring, just like North Cotabato, Kidapawan, Makilala to meet the need of durian in this period” said Hasp.

Although durian has yet to be harvested in the city’s highlands, it still won’t be enough to supply the market and the estimated 50,000 tourists expected during the Kadayawan season.

“As we found out from our surveillance, naa pa’y nabilin na portion in Toril, Sibulan, Catigan, parts of Marilog and Baguio, Calinan. Siguro dili na ni kaabot og 5,000 tons (As we found out from our surveillance, in some Parts of Toril are still some left, parts of Marilog and Baguio, Calinan. Maybe that won’t reach 5,000 tons anymore,” Haspe added.

Although Haspe admitted that this Kadayawan season’s durian harvest in the city was proving underwhelming, he said the industry remains lucrative.

He added that more and more farmers are getting involved in durian production due to the favorable prices on the world market.

In 2019, the total land area for durian cultivation in Davao City was recorded as 3,222 hectares.

This had since increased to 3,389 hectares in 2021. Haspe said the number of durian processors in the city has also increased.

“Our durian processors here in the city are increasing.

There’s one in Calinan, here in Tibungco; They come to our office and ask where they can find supplies,” said Haspe.

In addition, Davao City is striving for a direct connection to the Chinese market.

The Cagro boss said the city’s durian usually has to go through consolidators in other countries, like Thailand, before ending up in mainland China.

He said direct export to China will increase the profit margin of durian farmers in Davao City as well as the city’s visibility in the world market.

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