Buy local fruits for New Year’s Eve feast, agriculture chief urges Filipinos

New Year's Eve Fruits
Agriculture Chief: “Buy, promote local fruits” | Photo from the Department of Agriculture.

As the year 2019 closes today, the Filipino tradition of placing round fruits on the table during New Year’s Eve takes center stage and a scramble to find 12 round fruits to symbolize money throughout the 12 months of the new year ensues.

The practice, believed to attract good luck, fortune, prosperity, and abundance for the household, was given attention by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) as its chief appealed to Filipinos to patronize homegrown fruits such as Tiesa, Lanzones, Mabolo, Aratiles, and many more.

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Agriculture Secretary William Dar urged Filipinos to buy local instead of imported fruits. The DA chief delivered his appeal during a press conference, saying, “This is to increase farmers’ incomes and supporting the development and commercialization of the local fruit industry.”

“Let’s promote and take pride in our local fruits. Let’s give the tradition a deeper meaning by nurturing our agricultural sector,” Dar added.

The DA noted that the Philippines is the major producer of bananas, coconuts, mangoes, and pineapples which are being exported to countries like Japan, South Korea, China, and the United States.

Most Filipinos prefer to buy imported and expensive fruits to put on the table, rather than local fruits, the DA chief said, adding that local fruits are much cheaper and nutritious than imported ones.

Other popular Filipino fruits include melon, watermelon, lanzones, chico, pomelo, rambutan, mangosteen, sineguelas, tiesa, guava, atis, duhat (black plum), rambutan, santol, dalandan or sintunis (Philippine orange), aratiles (local cherry), bignay (currant), mabolo, papaya, avocado, and fresh coconut.

“For instance, instead of imported oranges, we can buy Perante, Satsuma, or Vizcaya ponkan, which are grown in Nueva Vizcaya. There are also local grapes from La Union, as well as citrus fruits from Central Luzon and Bukidnon,” Dar pointed out.

There are also other indigenous fruits that most Filipinos are unfamiliar with due to lack of promotion and the inability of producers to access the potential markets. But these unfamiliar fruits, which includes anang, sapote, yambo, sapinit, katmon, kalumpit, lipote, binukaw, or paratungon, are also delicious and nutritious.

Non-traditional consumers can buy round varieties of langka (jackfruit), pineapple, mango, macopa, durian, balimbing (star fruit) and dragonfruit from farmers.

“Buying Pinoy fruits will indeed increase incomes of farmers and their families who are into fruit orchard production,” Dar said.

Let’s help our Filipino farmers and their families and Buy Local!

CHECK OUT these groups from UP Diliman and UPLB helping farmers sell harvest at fair trade price.

READ about these 6 Unique Stories of Filipino Farmers Celebrated in ToFarm Film Festival

Jollibee has initiated projects to give new hope for farmer entrepreneurs and to empower women.

SEND cheers to Fililpino farmers this New Year’s Eve and BUY LOCAL!

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Blesilda Dela Cruz is a undergraduate student taking up AB Communication at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. An Efficient, Hard-working, Committed, and Goal-oriented person towards the goal and development of the company. A reliable team member who knows how to collaborate well. Has a passion in story-telling and acting.