|Mindanao's Gold and Jade|
A worker inspects newly harvested honeydew melons of the “Ilocos Gold” and “Jade” varieties before they are shipped from a farm in Cotabato City to markets in Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. The melons were grown by a member of the Maguindanao Fruit Growers Association, which is assisted by USAID's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program in expanding its market links, under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). The GEM Program works with growers and suppliers to increase Mindanao’s exports and domestic out-shipments of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, and high-value aquaculture products such as abalone and grouper, by providing technical assistance to producer associations in “clustering” their production and in improving their postharvest handling, market promotion and logistic systems.
Published in Manila Bulletin, June 27, 2010