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High-value crops seen hitting targets

By Amy R. Remo
Inquirer
First Posted 03:30:00 08/17/2007

Filed Under: Agriculture

MANILA, Philippines -- Despite a prolonged dry spell in previous months, the high-value commercial crops sector is expecting to surpass growth targets this year, an official of the Department of Agriculture said.

High-value crops such as bananas, mangoes and vegetables can post growths even in a worst-case scenario of a dry spell until December, said Rodel Maghirang, national program coordinator of the department?s Ginintuang Masaganang Ani-HVCC Program.

Pineapples, rubber and coffee would maintain their growth targets for the year as well, he added.

For bananas, the GMA-HVCC program targets a growth of 7.99 percent to 7.345 million metric tons from 6.801 million metric tons last year.

Under a worst-case scenario, this estimated growth would contract to 2.66 percent or 6.982 million metric tons without any interventions.

If measures are put in place, the banana sector may post a growth of 8.42 percent to 7.374 million metric tons.

Maghirang said intervention measures for bananas alone would require P150 million.

The amount is be used for the integration of the cardava supply of bananas for Metro Manila; the construction and repair of additional farm-to-market roads and irrigation facilities; new training for growers; organic fertilization in small farms; and setting up of packing houses to reduce post-harvest losses.

In the meantime, mango production is projected to grow 7.10 percent this year to 984,135 metric tons from last year?s 918,877 metric tons.

With proper interventions, its expansion rate could shoot up to as much as 12.49 percent to 1.033 million metric tons, Maghirang said.

These interventions would require P19.8 million in additional funds to boost off-season production in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Western Visayas.



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