The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) has reported that the Philippines would start shipping durian to China starting March this year following President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ state visit to China last month, which opened the country’s agricultural products to Chinese importers.
DA Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa informed the President of the scheduled shipment of durian to China during a meeting with Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) in Malacanang last Tuesday.
In its presentation, the agency said there is an initial volume of 7,500 metric tons (MT) of durians ready to be sent to the Asian country, which will be sourced from 59 different farmers or producers covering some 400 hectares of production area.
President Marcos’ China visit last month opened the country’s door for more Philippine fruit exports to Beijing as he cited the agricultural sector as “at the forefront” of the post-pandemic economic recovery strategy.
President Marcos told the chief executive officers (CEOs) from the agriculture sector in Beijing that the protocol for the export of fresh Philippine durian was already signed, paving the way for Chinese importers to source the fruit from the Philippines.
Manila and Beijing agreed on a protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh durians from the Philippines to China between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and China’s General Administration of Customs.
The USD2.09 billion in purchase intentions for Philippine fruit exports secured by the Marcos administration also covers coconut and bananas, among others.
At least four companies had expressed their intention to purchase more Philippine tropical fruit products, especially durian, the President said.
Fresh fruits, including Cavendish bananas, have been the top drivers for Philippine agricultural exports to China.
Noting the agriculture sector’s vast economic potential, President Marcos assured business leaders that durian growers, represented in the meeting by the Davao Durian Industry Association, “have long waited for this opportunity and are ready to meet the demands of the Chinese market.”
The Davao region covers 78 percent of the total durian production in the country.
The Chinese people have a strong appetite for durian.
In 2021, total durian imports from Thailand amounted to USD 4 billion, more than triple the total Philippine agricultural exports to China in the same period. (PND)