Philippines struggling with oversupply of mangoes

Manila: The Philippines is struggling with an oversupply of about two million kilograms of fresh mangoes, which authorities warned could end up rotting if they go unsold in the next two weeks.

To help farmers sell their harvest, the Department of Agriculture recently launched a “Metro Mango” marketing programme, where stalls were set up around the capital to sell the fruit.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol said 15,000kg of mangoes were snapped up in the first three hours of the marketing programme.

The bumper harvest was due to “the long dry spell caused by El Nino (weather phenomenon), which precipitated profuse flowering and fruiting this season”, Pinol said in a statement.

“Farmers estimate a surplus of two million kilos, which they said would just rot if the government does not help them sell the fruits,” he added in a Facebook post.

Amid the surplus, farmers have dropped the prices of mangoes, which are now being sold for less than US$1 (RM4.15) per kg.

“We need to do something about this in the next two weeks,” Pinol said, adding that the department was also working on boosting exports of the fruit to Japan, Dubai, South Korea and Russia.

Philippine mangoes have been marketed as one of the best in the world, but exports have been declining due to concerns over chemical residues, pest infestation and sanitation. — dpa