MANILA (DPA) - The Philippines is struggling with an oversupply of about 2 million kilograms of fresh mangoes, which authorities warned on Monday (June 10) could end up rotting if they go unsold in the next two weeks.
To help farmers sell their harvest, the Department of Agriculture launched a "Metro Mango" marketing programme, where stalls were set up around the capital to sell the fruit.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol said 15,000kg of mangoes were snapped up in the first three hours of the marketing programme.
The bumper harvest was due to "the long dry spell caused by El Nino (weather phenomenon), which precipitated profuse flowering and fruiting this season," he said.
"Farmers estimate a surplus of 2 million kilos, which they said would just rot if government does not help them sell the fruits," he added in a Facebook post.
Amid the surplus, farmers have dropped the prices of mangoes, which are now being sold for less than 1 US dollar (S$1.37) per kg.
"We need to do something about this in the next two weeks," Pinol said, adding that the department was also working on boosting exports of the fruit to Japan, Dubai, South Korea and Russia.
Philippine mangoes have been marketed as one of the best in the world, but exports have been declining due to concerns over chemical residues, pest infestation and sanitation.