By ALI G. MACABALANG
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is set to showcase again varieties of fruits, fisheries products and other commodities from Mindanao, targeting this time the city of Manilain the last of September, with high optimism for the availability by then of vaccines against coronovirus (COVID-19) disease.
The showcase is dubbed “MinDA Tienda sa Manila,” one of several ventures initiated by MnDA Chairman Manny F. Piñol to promote Mindanao island region and its products.
The MinDA “has now firmed up its plan to stage the ‘MinDA Tienda sa Manila’ in the famous Mehan Garden beside the Manila City Hall following the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday that COVID 19 vaccine is now available and that the Philippines will be one of the first beneficiaries,” Sec. Piñol said in a statement.
He said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has given the go-signal for the staging of the event right in the capital city’s heart in the historic Mehan Garden” tentatively scheduled from Sept. 20 to 26.
“The event, patterned after the highly successful “MinDA Fruit Festival” staged in Baguio City last year, will not only showcase products from Mindanao but also link up the region’s producers to direct buyers in Metro Manila,” he said.
It is one of the programs complementing the Complete Value Chain Policy of MinDA to empower its agricultural and fisheries producers, Piñol added.
Preparations for the “MinDA Tienda sa Manila” were actually started as early as last month even before the news of the discovery of the COVID 19 vaccine.
Former Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, now Chief of Staff to Mayor Moreno, has been deeply involved in the prospective staging of the Mindanao products extravaganza, according to MinDA.
MinDA prepared the plan even as the nation was still grappling with the strict quarantine protocols enforced in Metro Manila because of the expected bountiful harvest of fruits and sea products by September and October.
Among the products for display during the week-long event are fruits from the Davao and Central Mindanao Regions and sea products from as far as Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, Piñol said.
He said other high value products to be displayed at the event include the Black and Red Organic rice, the popular Zamboanga Spanish Sardines, vegetables from Bukidnon’s IMTASULA Vegetable Complex and locally woven fabric made out of indigenous fibers. ALI G. MACABALANG