A BASELINE study for the project "Upgrading the Calamansi Value Chain toward Improving the Calamansi Industry of Oriental Mindoro" was recently conducted in three municipalities of the province to improve the industry's marketing of the commodity.
A team from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and partners from Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) in collaboration with the Philippine-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) took part in the marketing study conducted from April 22 to 26.
Matilde Maunahan, study leader and university researcher of the UPLB Postharvest Horticulture and Training Research Center, led the value chain analysis and market study component of the project.
The study was conducted among the farmer-members of the Victoria Kalamansi Farmers Federation (VKFF), traders and processors in the towns of Victoria, Naujan and San Teodoro in Oriental Mindoro.
According to the study, the calamansi industry in San Teodoro town has expanded its market from the good marketing strategies of its farmer-members.
"The study said the calamansi concentrate processed in said town has already reached the markets of Valenzuela in Metro Manila and Oriental Mindoro's neighboring provinces of Romblon, Batangas and Marinduque," SEARCA said in a statement.
In terms of innovation, the members have designed their processing equipment that does not require trimming the stem before juice extraction.
In Naujan, the Mangyan-run Tugdaan processing plant also continues to thrive in production. The plant is now being relocated to a new and better building. The Mangyans get their organically grown raw materials from the farms of other members of their community.
The study said all three local traders in Victoria, Naujan and San Teodoro towns ship their produce mainly to bodega (storage) in Divisoria and Pasig in Metro Manila, and in Batangas. They get their supplies of calamansi from the farmer-members of VKFF.
However, Maunahan said the traders' main concern was the decreasing supply of calamansi as its lean production months is approaching.
The organization continues to produce calamansi concentrate, which is an additional source of income for its members. Raw materials are gathered from members, each owning at least 1 hectare of land planted with calamansi.
Thelma Paris, the project's gender specialist and focus group discussion facilitator, said the project team learned VKFF's market was still limited.
"Thus, proper marketing and delegation of tasks among members are imperative to overcome this limitation," Paris said.
The baseline study showed that of the eight groups of processors interviewed, six were led by females who were either the general managers or the processors-in-charge.
Two calamansi processors interviewed in Naujan and San Teodoro were both headed by women, the study said.
Females involved in the processing of calamansi have been observed to have better interpersonal skills, which are needed in the marketing of products.