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DA, PRDP program hopes to cut waste in Sulu mangosteen crop

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PHILSTAR

DAVAO CITY  — Sulu produced 850 tons of the high-value fruit mangosteen last year, but a big portion of that was wasted because farmers did not have the knowledge or means to market it outside the island province, according to Mercia S. Alli, the provincial supervising agriculturist.

Ms. Alli, who was among the participants in a recent training-workshop on market and value chain analysis conducted by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), said they are aiming not to squander future crops.

“With our study, we now have a picture of the whole flow of mangosteen from the farmers, producers end, up until market. A reliable data foundation which let us see the bigger picture of the commodity,” she said.

The agriculturist said the training, which uses tools developed under the World Bank-funded PRDP and its precursor Mindanao Rural Development Program, taught her “that, aside from marketing fresh (mangosteen) and jam, there are also other products we can develop from mangosteen such as capsules (a medicinal product), candies and sweets and even juice.”

Ricardo M. Oñate, Jr., PRDP Mindanao director, said in a statement that the goal of the series of 96 hours worth of training is to capacitate people in local government units (LGUs)so that they can help the DA in the implementation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan.

“These marketing studies are critical input to the Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIP) and as the basis for resource allocation and prioritization of DA programs, projects, and activities implemented at the national and regional levels,” Mr. Oñate said in a statement.

One the tools, the rapid market appraisal, is “an iterative and interactive research methodology, which is used to better understand complex market systems in a short time,” according to a PRDP brief.

Value chain analysis, on the other hand, “identifies requirements/priority interventions in each link of the chain… It is an important planning approach that guides programming and budgeting processes in agriculture.”

The training program is part of the PRDP’s project planning component that includes research, commodity prioritization, data analysis, report writing, and a competitiveness strategy. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

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