Once tagged as the "Fruit Basket of Oriental Mindoro," the small municipality of Victoria wants to revitalize its calamansi industry in addition to its already robust production of citrus, durian, marang, lanzones and rambutan.
The municipal government signed a memorandum of agreement with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology to boost calamansi production in the region.
Victoria Mayor Alfredo Ortega Jr. underscored the need to strengthen linkages among farmers, local government units, non-government agencies, state universities and colleges, civil societies and the private sector to bring back the old glory of the local calamansi industry.
To be implemented for a period of three years, the pilot project aims to enhance the capacity of calamansi farmers in Victoria through an integrated ground-level development intervention.
In 2012, Victoria reached peak production at 7,325.5 metric tons, or 58.58 percent of the total production in the province, and was reported to have the highest average yield of 13.1 metric tons per hectare.
In recent years, however, owing to a lack of appropriate institutional and marketing arrangements as well as value-adding activities for calamansi, the industry faced an oversupply and surplus of fresh produce which, in turn, resulted to heavy post-harvest losses, lower prices and smaller income received by the farmers.
Local calamansi farmers opted to shift to other commodities and veered away from maintaining their calamansi farms, resulting in a decline in calamansi farms area in Victoria from 2,105 hectares in 2008 to only 884 hectares in 2012.