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PH’s dried pili nuts to be sold in Europe
THE country’s dried pili nuts can now be sold in different European markets after the European Union (EU) has approved the inclusion of the product in its list of novel foods that may be placed in their markets.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that the EU issued European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/267 which authorizes the selling of dried pili nuts in the 27 member states of EU after it passed the EU’s food safety and labeling requirements.
In line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to boost high-value crops for export, the DA welcomed the EU issuance that opens market opportunities for the country’s pili industry.
It will be recalled that the exportation of pili nut was temporarily stopped in 2015 after the EU issued new rules for novel foods. Pili nut is considered a novel food or those that have not been significantly used for human consumption in the EU before May 1997.
The EU market opening will benefit local pili processors and exporters including thousands of pili farmers as this opportunity enables them to gain more income from higher-value commodities such as pili.
The DA added that it has been promoting farm clustering and consolidation and production upscaling to ensure high quality and volume of products with export potential as a response to the directive of the President to diversify exports and expand markets for local agricultural products.
The Bicol Region is the country’s top pili producer with about 90 percent or 1,796.38 hectares of pili production area and 84 percent or 4,932.60 metric tons of the total volume of production based on the Philippine Statistics Authority data in 2021.
The DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), and the Bicol Regional Field Office are actively involved in the pili industry development.
The DA agencies provide inputs, establish facilities for production, post-harvest, processing and marketing, and conduct research for development and capacity-building activities including the adoption of good agricultural practices and food safety standards, among others.
They also help interested producers and exporters in terms of accreditation, development of packing houses, market development and market linkages.
The DA-AMAS, in particular, assisted various pili stakeholders in terms of product promotion by participating in local and international trade fairs.
The major export markets for Philippine pili include the United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Canada.