Durian, nicknamed the king of fruits, takes center stage at the SMX Convention Center of SMX Lanang Premiere this month as a farmers’ group in Davao City holds the 1st Philippine Asia Durian Summit.
Organized by the Durian Industry Association of Davao City (DIADC), IMS Asia and with the help of the Department ofAgriculture, DA AMAD XI office, the summit will be held from October 25 to 27, with over 1,500 delegates from durian industry associations as well as growers, farmers, traders, consolidators, buyers, and exporters of the well-loved tropical fruit expected to open their doors for more opportunities in the industry.
The 1st Philippine Asia Durian Summit is an inaugural event envisioned to provide the space for the sharing of voices and insights among local and international durian experts. The summit is likewise meant to provide the needed platform that would gather durian enthusiasts’ outlooks, foster collaboration, and forge partnerships among stakeholders in the industry. It will also provide a platform for all stakeholders to solicit consensus to solidify the players in the industry value-chain, as well as exploit initiatives, insights, and program support to address various challenges defying the durian sector.
Aside from industry associations and farmers’ groups, the summit will also see the participation of leaders from the local government units (LGUs) in Davao, key government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), Department of Science & Technology (DOST), as well as allied sectors involved in logistics, freight forwarding, packaging, equipment manufacturing, and other service providers.
Two events shall comprise the summit – the trade show and exhibit, and the plenary sessions. There will also be around 120 exhibitors who will showcase their products and services. Field tours and an open forum among durian enthusiasts also be conducted. Their main objectives are to achieve unity among the participants so the durian industry in the country may realize further expansion and sustainability, and to capture the spirit of harmony that can lead to transformative change.
With the theme “Cultivation, Innovation, Collaboration,” the DIADC said that the inaugural event was made possible after the notable success of the send-off of Philippine durian to the People’s Republic of China last April 6, 2023. The group also said that the theme conveys the DIADC’s strong commitment to opening up more doors of opportunities to durian farmers and enthusiasts in the country.
According to Emmanuel Belviz, president of DIADC, “The 1st Philippine Asia Durian Summit shall provide an overview on the current updates on the Philippine durian industry, specifically on the dynamics and growing demand in the international arena. It is also envisioned to empower durian farmers to be globally competitive, for them to innovate and adopt a common goal that would benefit local farmers and the industry as a whole.”
According to Belviz, the durian industry in the Philippines is now booming
“Our colleagues in Malaysia, Thailand, and others have seen the Philippine durian’s potential,” he said. The good thing is, they don’t see us as a competitor — but more of a collaborator — and they are willing to collaborate with us.”
Since the country is exporting durian to China, Belviz adds that they have also invited notable speakers and experts to speak during the summit. “There are participants who already confirmed from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia. We hope to get good inputs and practices from them so that it can boost our durian industry,” he said.