An official of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), an agency attached to the Agriculture Department, said the Bureau would again test controlled atmosphere (CA) technology in a shipment from Manila to Chicago via California, reported Business World Online.
“The only problem for our mangoes is our freight cost. The controlled atmosphere would allow mangoes to ‘sleep’ for 27 days to save on shipping cost,” said BPI Technical Director Hernani G Golez, who is also the head of the National Mango Research and Development Centre.
At the moment, Philippine mangoes on the American market cost about US$40 per 5kg carton, compared to only US$14.50 for Mexican mangoes. The Philippine government aims to cut that price to US$21-22 per carton.
On the other side of the fence is Roberto C Amores, vice president for Agriculture and Food Security of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who told Business World Online cross-breeding local mango varieties with semi-temperate varieties to produce a mango with a long shelf life was a better way to go.
“There was no conclusive data that will prove that the shipment by controlled atmosphere in a long transit ship to the United States and Europe is successful,” Mr Amores said.
The Philippines sent 37,157kg of mangoes to the US worth US$183,675 in 2007, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.