The Philippines are in a panic after rare weather conditions affected their farms. The cause of the panic? Too many mangoes.
A shift in wind patterns called El Niño takes place every seven years. These winds heat up the Pacific Ocean and sent hot, dry weather to the Philippines that caused an increase in mango yield this season.
Normally, the Philippines’s climate is ideal for mango crops, tropical without too much humidity. A hot, dry season occurs just as the trees develop their fruit and flowers. El Niño intensifies that flowering heat spell.
“It’s a good phenomenon for us,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol. “The only problem is, our farmers weren’t able to immediately coordinate with us that they have expected oversupply.”
How to Sell Too Many Mangoes
One the island of Luzon alone there is an overwhelming increase of about 2 million kg of mangoes. This oversupply forced the price to drop from 58 pesos ($3.02 US) to as low as 25 pesos ($1.30 US) per kilogram. 
Piñol states, “There is a surplus of about 2 million kilos of mangoes now, and this is only in Luzon. We need to do something about this in the next two weeks.””
Anyone who bought mangoes before knows the struggle of eating them when they’re ripe—but not too ripe. With an overflowing of these crops, mangoes have a time limit before the excess goes to waste.
The Agriculture Department launched the “Metro Mango” campaign. Their goal is to sell one million kg of mangoes in Manila throughout June. They slashed the prices on mangoes in Manilla, but only to shoppers who buy in bulk. The government is also creating mango cooking classes to teach locals creative ways to enjoy the fruit and announced a mango festival in June to increase hype and demand for the food.
Fortunately, according to Piñol, 15,000 kg of mangoes were sold in the first three hours of the marketing campaign. 
Too Many Mangoes is a Problem
Many people might be wondering why too many mangoes are such a big deal. They’re probably thinking, “Just give the mangoes to me! I’ll eat them.” Think about all the mango salsa, salad, sorbet, and sweet, juicy cubes of the fruit.
In reality, this excess of crops negatively affects the farmers. If the surplus of fruits rotted, the prices would crash further and damage the farmers’ livelihood.
Some farmers in Luzon, where there is the most oversupply, have resorted to giving away mangoes for free. They hang bags of the fruit on the gates of their farms, leaving them up for grabs.
“Anyone is free to take these mangoes, whether it’s neighbors or passersby,” reads a Facebook post of one of these farmers. 
Philippines’s International Mango Trade
Foreign countries are purchasing the cheap mangoes, easing the burden off the farmers. One Japanese fruit importer, Diamond Star Corporation, pledged to buy 100,000 kg of mangoes. As much as that is, it still leaves 1.9 million kg to potentially rot. Piñol hopes to lengthen the usual daily exports to Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai, and Russia to relieve more of the enormous mango stock. 
However, the nation’s mango trade is limited, “given poor performance in cold chain management, packaging, and pre-export [sanitary] treatments, which prevent exporters from complying with standards required by key markets,” states the 2017 report from Duke University’s center on globalization, governance, and competitiveness. 
The Department of Agriculture is preparing a workshop for mango farmers in Luzon to help improve their standards in order to pass export requirements. This would focus on reducing the chemical residues, infestations, and sanitary issues that concern the trade partners.
The good news is the requirement for dried mangoes are less strict, so the government encourages farmers to process their stocks in the hopes those will sell more easily than fresh produce.
Piñol accuses a Cebu-based dried mango exporter of contributing to the overwhelming quantities of fruit since it stopped buying local mangoes and began importing mangoes from overseas. 
At least mango-lovers in the Philippines aren’t complaining. They are able to support their local farmers by purchasing their favorite fruit and enjoying a festival dedicated to them.
- Philippines overflows with millions of mangoes as El Niño takes effect https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/10/philippines-overflows-with-millions-of-mangoes-as-el-nino-take-effect
- Philippines struggling with oversupply of 2 million kg of mangoes https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippines-struggling-with-oversupply-of-2-million-kg-of-mangoes
- Philippines has a mango surplus of 4.4 million pounds and is selling them for dirt cheap https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/06/13/philippines-has-4-4-million-pound-mango-surplus/1446129001/
- The Philippines has 2 million kilos of extra mangos—and a plan to deal with them https://qz.com/1646189/too-many-mangoes-in-philippines-thanks-to-el-nino/
- The Philippines in the Mango GVC https://gvcc.duke.edu/cggclisting/the-philippines-in-the-mango-gvc/
- Philippines faces two million kilogram mango surplus https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48581857
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