TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is stepping up the promotion of the region’s sweet variety of jackfruit citing its unique taste and market potential.
Dubbed as Eastern Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (EVIARC) sweet variety, the fruit has its special features such as natural sweetness, thickness of the fruitlet and yellow in color, aromatic, ellipsoid in shape and contains moderate latex, said Department of Agriculture field operations division chief Francisco Dayap.
“Eastern Visayas is one of the jackfruit producing regions in the Philippines. Aside from the region’s climatic condition, which is favorable for the growth and development of jackfruit, the EVIARC in Abuyog, Leyte has even boosted the region’s reputation with the development of its sweet variety,” Dayap said.
As of last year, the region has more than 1,258 hectares planted with this variety. The target is to expand the cultivated areas to 4,409 hectares by 2022.
The agriculture official is optimistic of hitting the target considering the support of the national government in the past three years to develop the commodity.
Among the opportunities cited by Dayap are the presence of technical experts provided by DA and Visayas State University; strong partnership between farmers and government agencies; and the great demand which is greater than production.
“The development of EVIARC sweet reflects the region’s goal of being the lead producer of high quality fresh and processed jackfruit in the Philippines, which captures both local and domestic markets by 2022,” Dayap added.
DA has been training farmers who are affiliated to an association to help them expand the market and to increase its production. The agency has been distributing planting materials and machineries to recipients. (MELVA MAE C. MENIANO)