ABAWENYOS can expect a better durian harvest especially for the Kadayawan Festival this year, the Durian Industry Council of Davao City (DICDC) said.

Larry Miculob, council chairman, said this year’s harvest may not reach the 2015 level, but it would be better than the 2016 and 2017 production.

According to Durian Harvests Durian production in the past two years declined because of drought in 2016 and heavy rainfall in 2017, which caused durian flowers to fall from the trees before these could develop into fruits, Miculob said.

This year, however, Miculob said they noted that durian trees have more flowers and they were positive that production is starting to go back to normal.

“As the industry is driven by nature, we can only do so much about the problems like drought and rain. We can only pray that the rain wouldn’t be too much that it would wash off the durian flowers. But of course, we also have interventions like regular spraying of fungicide especially during frequent rains because the more it rains, the greater the possibility for fungi to build up in the flowers and the tree,” said Miculob.

A previous study by the Regional Crop Protection Center of the Department of Agriculture regional field office in Davao Region showed that the Puyat durian variety is tolerant of Phytophthora palmivora, a water mold that causes fruit rot in durian.

Based on this study, Miculob said they have been encouraging durian farmers in Davao City to plant the Puyat variety.

“As compared to other varieties, Puyat may be a little more expensive than other varieties only because it is actually has higher quality than the others,” he said.

Nearly 40 percent of the entire durian plantation in Davao Region is located in Davao City. Davao Region has about 8,000 hectares of durian plantation while Davao city has 3,000 hectares.

Miculob said they were also looking forward to a good harvest for mangosteen, lanzones, and rambutan from September onwards as the fruit trees are also starting to blossom already.