DAVAO CITY -  Majority of the industry road maps for Davao region aim to enhance production and marketing of agricultural commodities.

Among the 15 identified Davao Region’s Industry Clusters (DRIC) 10 are among the champion commodities of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached agencies. These include DA's banner programs on high value crops such as banana, cacao, durian and mango; livestock and poultry; and rice. Also included are bangus and seaweeds, abaca, and coconut.

“These commodities were selected based on its potentials to contribute to the national output, poverty reduction, employment generation and strong support from the private sectors and local government units," said DA Regional Director Remelyn Recoter during the DRIC launch held last week in Davao City.

Recoter said DA's support to the export commodities under tis year's banner programs amounted to P724 million and 66 percent of this which (P488 million) had been allocated from regional office.

The Regional Development Council (RDC) spearheads the development of DRIC covering the period of 2014 to 2030.  

Larry Miculob, Davao City Durian Industry Council (DCDIC) president said that DA 11 has been instrumental in providing them business opportunities not only in domestic but also in international markets through trade shows and exhibits. Last year, Miculob said Davao durian has already entered Singapore market.

He said DA through the high value crops development program has provided the council shredder machine for production of organic fertilizer.

Now that they are on their way to global demands, they would like to minimize their postharvest losses from the fallen fruits causing it to be damaged if dropped onto the ground.

Miculob said that the DCDIC is proposing for a P1-million prototype harvesting equipment from Australia which would automatically lift and picked the matured fruit.

"Now that our farmers are aging, harvesting of durian through climbing the tree could be dangerous to them," Miculob said.

“We hope that the government will look into this (proposal) to further strengthen competitiveness of our durian industry, ” Miculob said.

The scaling up of the industry clusters is headed by the RDC and the National Economic and Development Authority to serve as region’s primary strategy to seize the opportunities and address challenges presented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nation Economic Integration which will start this year.

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