Based on the data of National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL), about 300 edible fruit and nut species are grown in the Philippines. Five of which are considered major fruits (banana, pineapple, citrus, papaya and mango).
The five species constitutes 87 percent of the country’s total area and 95 percent of total volume of fruit production.
According to Dr. Lavernee Gueco, NPGRL head, among the 300 edible fruits and nut species, only about 30 species are considered economically important but not fully utilized.
“The country has more than a hundred endemic fruits and nut, however none has so far become a major crop of national importance and are underutilized, underexplored or totally neglected fruits,” he adds.
Speaking during the forum, DA-XI Regional Director Ricardo Oñate said Davao City is dubbed as the country’s fruit basket and it is the major supplier of agri products and became the major export supplier of banana, durian and pineapple for the past five years.
“This forum coincides with DA’s food security plan. We are promoting not only fruits for health and food security, but also promoting fruits for income generation and integrated and sustainable rural development,” Oñate adds.
The 26th National Fruit Symposium further aims to encourage interactions and collaborations among members/participants from the government and private sectors.
The four-day activity invited experts to discuss topics such as conservation, utilization, pest management, varietal registration, accreditation of fruit nurseries and export to various countries.