NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research Signs Contract with the Municipality of Midsayap in a Milestone Partnership

MAKATI CITY – New Zealand Embassy in Manila, along with New Zealand G2G and Mindanao Development Authority oversaw the Contract Signing Ceremony on Mango Enhancement and Protection Programme between the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and the Municipality of Midsayap in a partnership that marks a significant milestone for both organisations. The contract was signed during a ceremony held on 19 April 2023, at the Ambassador’s Official Residence in North Forbes Park, Makati City.

rom left (standing), H.E. Ambassador Peter Kell, NZ G2G Regional Lead Ms. Samantha Teo, and Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Maria Belen Acosta witnessed the Contract Signing between NZ Institute Plant and Food Research Director for International Development Ms. Suzie Newman and Midsayap Mayor Rolando “Rolly” Sacdalan. 

Other officials of Midsayap present in the photo opportunity for the contract signing ceremony.

The Philippines is a significant player in world mango production and exports. In recent years, the Philippines has seen a decline in fresh mango exports. Fruit that does not meet market requirements when inspected on arrival into the market is downgraded and earns a much lower price. This adversely impacts the profitability of mango production for Mindanao growers and exporters, and has wider economic ramifications for the mango production region.

On April 2019, the NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research (PFR), in conjunction with NZ G2G, undertook a scoping study in Davao, Mindanao. The study found that there were instances where fresh mango exports to Japan failed inspection on arrival in the market, due to Maximum Pesticide Residue Limit (MRL) violations.

The agreement outlines sharing of New Zealand expertise to help raise production and improve the livelihoods of mango farmers in Mindanao. Through this project, NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research will review, recommend, and implement changes to have an assured Maximum Residue Limit (MRL), put in place the best spray pesticide application practices and develop a sustainable mango production technology and quality assurance programme which will ensure that the fruit consistently meets high-value export-compliant mango requirements.

“I am excited about this signing. It represents a significant step forward for New Zealand agricultural expertise to support Mindanao’s aspirations to become an exporter of high value fresh mango, as well as positioning Mindanao to contribute to the strengthening of the Philippine high-value fresh mango export industry,” New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Peter Kell said.

The project is co-funded by New Zealand Grant Funded Assistance (GFA) and the Municipality of Midsayap. The lessons learned from the project will be available to other mango producers through the Mindanao Business Council (MBC) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

He waka eke noa – we are in this journey together.