Standard Philippines Fruit Corp (Stanfilco), a subsidiary of Dole Philippines, has planted 80ha of an early-maturing avocado variety in South Cotabato, reported the Sun Star Davao.
The initial plantings are being grown under contact by farmers in the towns of Polomolok and Tupi at the foot of Mt Matutum, the region’s highest peak, with planting material and technical advise provided by Stanfilco.
“Upland farmers have started planting the avocados. The initial target is 300ha with rooms for expansion,” explained Aurelio A Banggayong Jr, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics South Cotabato chief.
He said the variety planted would bear three years after planting, and the trees had already been in the ground two years.
Under the contract arrangement, Stanfilco will buy the avocados from growers and market them fresh in Japan.
Japan is seen as Asia’s biggest market for avocados, and is already the target for expansion by avocado giants Mexico and Chile.