P1.3 million atsuete exported to Vietnam

Subscribe Now July 10, 2013 at 04:45pm

At least 20 metric tons (MT) of atsuete or annatto (Bixa orellana) with a gross value of about P1.3 million (US$30,000) were exported to Vietnam.

Atsuete, which is widely used as food coloring and flavoring agent, is being considered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as another breakthrough for Filipino farmers planting atsuete in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

Initially, 20 MT of atsuete were exported to Vietnam, said DA Assistant Secretary Dante Delima, who represented DA Secretary Proceso Alcala in an inaugural send-off at the Manila North Harbor Center last Monday.

A 20-foot container van loaded with 400 50-kilogram sacks of atsuete seeds, with a gross value of about P1.3 million or US$30,000 was sent to Vietnam.

The atsuete export was consolidated by Lingkod Saka, Inc., an NGO, and exported through the Vegetable Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association of the Philippines (VIEVA), with assistance from the DA’s High Value Commercial Crops Program (HVCDP).

Delima said the atsuete seeds were bought from farmers at P45 to P50 per kilo. Of the total volume, 10 MT each was sourced from farmers in Barangay Datu Ladayon, in Arakan, North Cotabato and in Sitio Kibalang, in Barangay Marilog, Davao City in Davao del Sur.

The country imports 10,000 MT of raw and powder atsuete every year.

However, according to VIEVA president Leah Cruz they took advantage of the opportunity to export because the Vietnamese buyers offered a good price, and preferred Philippine atsuete, which is of better quality than those from Africa, where they regularly import.

Cruz said VIEVA and Sikat Saka are currently consolidating another order of 40 MT that will be exported again to Vietnam.

She said importers from Hawaii and mainland United States are also interested to buy Philippine atsuete.

Source: mb.com.ph

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