I.Norte to rehab 25,000 mango trees w/ P5M aid

LAOAG CITY, Aug 8 –The province’s mango industry got a boost with the release of fertilizers and other farm inputs to at least 180 mango growers during a program launch at the Takuat Training Center in San Nicolas town.
The grant was part of the provincial government’s project called research and development for the rehabilitation of mango fruit bearing trees in Ilocos Norte.

In a statement, Gov. Imee Marcos has allotted P5 million to support the project. It includes provision of farm inputs and other training programs that would improve the yield of some 25,000 mango trees in the province.

Ricardo Tolentino, president of the federated mango growers in the province, had been in constant coordination with the provincial government for the rehabilitation of mango trees.

“I have been asking for subsidy for our mango trees because our growers no longer afford to shell out capital,” he said.

Tolentino said the province’s mango industry had been on the decline in previous years due to high cost of farm inputs and changing weather patterns.

“We had no difficulties before. With a little amount of chemical, mangoes would survive. Climate change is also a big factor. The yield is affected by too much rains and extreme heat,” he said.

Tolentino said high cost of fuel and unpredictable weather have discouraged mango growers to continue investing in mango spraying.

He hoped the Department of Agriculture will also bring back the mango crop in its list of priority products after it was delisted in previous years.

“I am hopeful that mango products will be given priority attention again. This is a top dollar earner for mango farmers,” he said. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)