MANILA - The agriculture chief has called on Filipinos to make local fruits part of their table spread as they welcome the New Year.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said this would support the development and commercialization of the local fruit industry and increase farmers' incomes.
“Let’s promote and take pride in our local fruits. Let’s give the tradition a deeper meaning by nurturing our agricultural sector,” he said in a statement Saturday.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), most Filipinos prefer to buy imported apples, oranges and grapes to put on the table for the traditional media noche.
Dar said that local fruits such as pakwan (watermelon), lanzones, sineguelas, dalandan, papaya, rambutan, atis, guava, Perante, Satsuma and Vizcaya ponkan are as nutritious and cheaper than imported ones.
"There are also local grapes from La Union, as well as citrus fruits from Central Luzon and Bukidnon," he added.
The DA chief said that for non-traditional consumers, there are round varieties of langka, pineapple, mango, macopa, durian, balimbing and dragonfruit that can be bought from farmers.
“Buying Pinoy fruits will indeed increase incomes of farmers and their families who are into fruit orchard production,” he said.