MANILA: Prices of mangoes in the Philippines have plummeted as the country faces an oversupply of the fruit of about 2 million kg.
The bumper harvest, caused by El Nino, happens “every three to four years”, said agriculture secretary Emmanuel Pinol on Monday (Jun 10).
An El Nino weather event can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world, and is associated with warmer, dry weather across the Asia-Pacific region.
“This is the phenomenon of El Nino … called fallowing where the soil has rested for some time because of the heat and with sudden rain, the production of fruit trees increases,” Mr Pinol was quoted as saying by Manila Times.
“It’s a good phenomenon for us. The only problem is our farmers weren’t able to immediately coordinate with us that they have expected oversupply and partly the DA (Department of Agriculture) has fell short on monitoring these developments,” he added.
Mr Pinol said there was currently a surplus of about 2 million kilos of mangoes in the province of Luzon. The last time stocks were this high was after the El Nino of 2015 and 2016, he said.
Prices of the fruit have dropped to as low as 20 pesos (US$0.20) per kg in Luzon and other provinces such as Mindanao.
The Philippine government has launched a campaign to support local mango farmers in a bid to sell at least 1 million kg of the fruit by June before they rot.
Mr Pinol also said that the Department of Agriculture would address the high cost of mango production in the Philippines and encourage local farmers to branch out into processing and value-adding.