A local durian fruit producer in Davao City has lamented the impact of the El Niño phenomenon to the fruit production, expecting a plunge by 20 percent.
Candelario Miculob, president of the Durian Industry Association, warned that if El Niño will prolong, durian production could further go down by some 40 percent.
Miculob added that about 16 to 18 of the 20 tons of durian that can be produced from a 3,000-hectare durian farm could further decrease in the coming months because of the dry spell.
Also, Miculob said farmers are not able to apply fertilizer because the trees just came out of the fruiting season.
“So tan-aw namo stress na gyud ang punuan (So we expect the trees are so stressed),” Miculob said during Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at the SM Davao Annex.
He said the durian trees have not fully recovered despite the rains brought by tropical depression Chedeng, which recently hit the region. Durian was last affected by El Niño in 2016.
If production is low and the demand is high, Miculob said the price of durian would go up by PHP40-50 per kilo from the street price of PHP 20-25 per kilogram.
Durian producers still hope to expand production areas by at least 1,000 hectares to cope with increasing demand in both local and foreign markets.
Davao City remains to be the top producer of durian at 6,600 kilos per hectare.
Davao Region used to have 10,000 hectares of durian farm, but around 2,000 hectares were damaged by the Typhoon Pablo in 2012. (PNA)