|Papayas to the Middle East|
Members of the Tupi Papaya and Guava Growers Association (TUPAGGA), a farmers’ association based in South Cotabato, applied hot water treatment (HWT) to sunrise variety papayas which were recently shipped to Dubai in theUnited Arab Emirates. TUPAGGA’s trial shipment was facilitated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which helped link the group to an exporter of food products to the Middle East. USAID, through its Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, partnered with the Tupi local government to support TUPAGGA’s participation in the recent International Food Exhibition (IFEX) in Manilawhich enabled the group to attract potential buyers. USAID-GEM also provided post-harvest training to TUPAGGA growers to help them comply with international quarantine standards. In partnership with the Mindanao Fruit Industry Council (MinFruit) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), USAID-GEM has helped upgrade the production methods and post-handling techniques of growers’ associations and cooperatives across Mindanao, while assisting them to identify lucrative markets for their produce.
Published in Zamboanga Times, December 8, 2011; Sun Star Cagayan, December 6, 2011