Increasing the output of Philippine calamansi and export volumes to countries like Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is the focus of a new research group.
The South-East Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research (SEARCA) has been engaged to help the Philippines explore new ways to boost the country's output and export across the next two years.
Improving production, postharvest techniques and processing will be a focus for SEARCA, who is already supporting the Bureau of Agricultural Research's pilot project in Oriental Mindoro.
"There are gaps and constraints in the calamansi industry that limit its potential to increase income and generate the much-needed employment for the calamansi-growing communities in Oriental Mindoro," said SEARCA.
Calamansi is a domestic type of citrus unique to the Philippines and nearby regions, with Oriental Mindoro being its largest production zone. The two-year project aims to address the fruit's technical and market access hurdles across the value-chain.
Technology, integrated pest management, fertilisation techniques, off-season fruiting and post-harvest handling will all be areas receiving support. Processing of fresh product will also be explored as an opportunity for value-addition.