Chinese firm eyes USD1-B investment for Davao durian

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DAVAO CITY — A Chinese company is eyeing to invest a total of USD1 billion for the export of durian, particularly the Montong variety, to the People’s Republic of China, an official said Thursday.

The investment will cover assistance to durian farmers to maintain the sustainability of the supply of the Montong variety, said April Marie Dayap, head of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC).

Dayap said Honju Fruits, a Chongqing-based company, took interest in importing durian because it has a huge market in China. Davao City and the municipality of Chongqing recently agreed to sign a sisterhood pact.

“For now, Honju imports durian from Thailand. Thailand cannot supply the demand of Montong variety. They want to import from us from September to March as these months are the low season of durian in Thailand,” Dayap said.

She said that officials of Honju Fruits will visit the city soon to personally discuss importation possibilities and to find out if the city can supply the demand.

“This will be a big opportunity for our businessmen in the city to expand their business and explore exporting their produce to China. We also encourage them to plant more durian,” she said.

Earlier, Candelario Miculob, the president of the Davao Durian Industry Development Council (DDIDC), acknowledged the growing demand in the export market to China.

Miculob said Davao City has high durian production, noting that the city shares half of the 40 tons of the total durian production in Davao Region.

Last May, the Department of Agriculture in Region 11 (DA-11) launched the “The Durian 500 Program”, which seeks to increase the productivity of the “king of fruits”  in the city as well as the entire Davao Region.

The Durian 500 Program is a collaboration between the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) and DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) that aims to expand to 500 hectares the durian plantations in tribal communities here.

Based on the data of DDIDC, Region 11 has 6,000 hectares of durian farms that can produce around 40 tons–half of this from this city’s durian production.

Targeting about 78,000 durian fruit trees to be planted, Miculob added that the chosen land in Baguio District is one of the highly suitable areas for durian plantation due to its climate and rich volcanic soil. (PNA)

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