Philippine Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) plans to have a large-scale expansion in the production of avocado and jackfruit by tapping 200,000 hectares of upland areas. Over the next five years, MinDA will target 100,000 hectares for each of the two crops and generate estimated earnings of USD 2 billion every year.
This plan is under the Mindanao Greening Program that aims to develop agricultural industries while rehabilitating and protecting the highland from denudation. Under the plan, the avocado and jackfruit crops will be introduced as an agro-industrial commodity in commercial scale and volume instead of just backyard fruit trees for family consumption.
The specific varieties being considered for the project are the Hass avocado and the Abuyog Sweet jackfruit. The Hass avocado is a premium fruit that Japan and China import from the US and South America. The Philippines agriculture had not ventured into this segment because of the absence of planting materials. The jackfruit has not been paid attention to despite huge demand in food processing, according to Secretary Piñol.