Carrots from P400 to P160/kilo
METRO MARKET PRICES DROP
AS MINDANAO VEGGIES ARRIVE
By Manny Piñol
Prices of vegetables in Metro Manila dropped by over 50% as the first shipment of Mindanao vegetables arrived yesterday.
From a ridiculous price of P400 per kilo right after Typhoon Ompong hit Northern Luzon, Carrots were sold for only P160 yesterday in Divisoria.
Cabbage dropped from over P200 per kilo to only P120 yesterday.
This development proves that profiteers and middlemen are responsible for the manipulation of prices of vegetables and other food items in the market.
Now, these vultures will get their comeuppance because today the Department of Agriculture will start flooding Metro Manila with fresh vegetables from Bukidnon, Davao and Cotabato.
A refrigerated van containing 8 metric tons of vegetables from Talakag, Bukidnon after a two-day voyage by sea vessels from Cagayan de Oro City arrived Wednesday night.
I checked the vegetables which were brought in through a refrigerated van yesterday after these were unloaded at the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Compound in San Andres, Manila and these were in excellent conditions.
A C-130 plane from General Santos city loaded with 12 tons of vegetables and fruits arrived last night.
A commercial cargo plane will arrive today from Cagayan de Oro City to bring in more vegetables.
Altogether, about 30 tons of fresh vegetables wll be sold today by farmers themselves at the BPI Compound.
For starters, Carrots will be sold for P95 per kilo while the controversial Sili will be available for P80 per kilo.
If the profiteers and vultures believe that this is just temporary, then they are in for a big shock.
Today, the DA Agribusiness and Marketing Office has arranged a business matching between farmers from Mindanao, including a group of Aeta farmers from Central Luzon, and direct buyers like homeowners cooperatives, market vendors associations and grocery stores.
This will effectively cut out traders and middlemen and establish a direct link between the food producers and consumers.
Next week, at least six refrigerated containers filled with vegetables will be shipped in from Mindanao every week.
The volume will increase as the DA has initially released P20-million to the vegetable farmers association of Bukidnon to buy their members’ produce.
Another P250-million in loans under the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) with 6% interest yearly and No Collateral requirement will be released next week.
An estimated 50,000 hectares of rich fertile lands in Bukidnon ideal for vegetable farming has been identified for development.
With the PLEA loaning program increased to P3.5-B in the 2019 Budget, the vegetable production program of the DA will expand further.
A 5-Year Vegetable Production Master Plan by the DA targets total self-sufficiency for table vegetables by 2024.
Once again it is proven that with government support, farmers can produce more.
Also, greedy traders and middlemen will be taught a lesson: Don’t mess with Government, especially the government under President Rody Duterte.
(Photos of the vegetables in plastic crates at the BPI Compound were taken by Mayette Tudlas. The Vegetable Festival will open at 5 a.m. today.)