Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Philippine has too much of a good thing: mangoes

The Guardian

The Philippines is struggling under the weight of a sweet, but troublesome burden: a glut of 2 million mangoes.

Philippine Secretary of Agriculture Emmanuel Pinol said mango farmers had reported an “unusual increase” in the harvest, which they had attributed to El Nino, which has led to unusually hot, dry weather this year.

On the island of Luzon alone there is a surplus of about 2 million kilograms of mangoes, according to Pinol, an oversupply that has led the price to drop from 58 pesos (US$1.11) to as low as 25 pesos per kilogram.

Pinol stressed the urgency of dealing with the glut before the fruit went to waste and sent the price of mangoes crashing further, hurting farmers, saying: “We need to do something about this in the next two weeks.”

In a bid to make sure that the excess mangos do not rot, the Philippine Department of Agriculture has launched a marketing campaign, dubbed “Metro Mango,” to try to shift 1 million kilograms of the fruit in Metro Manila, with stalls selling mangoes to be put up all around the capital throughout this month.

The fresh mangoes will be sold at 25 pesos to 50 pesos a kilogram to entice buyers, who will get the low prices only if they buy in bulk.

The department has also launched cooking classes to teach people how to cook with mangoes and will be holding a mango festival in the middle of the month in a bid to drum up demand for the fruit.

Some farmers in Luzon, where the oversupply is concentrated, have taken to giving away their mangoes free, hanging bountiful bags of the fruit outside the gates of their farms.

Foreign interest in the cheap mangoes is helping ease the burden.

A Japanese fruit importer has pledged to purchase 100,000kg of the mangoes, though this still leaves 1.9 million kilograms to shift.

Pinol said it were also hoping to increase daily mango imports to Hong Kong and Dubai.

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