THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) will coordinate with local governments in the Cordillera Administrative Region to help transport and market the tomato harvest of farmers who have complained of oversupply and lack of buyers.
The DA’s office in the highland region, in a statement on Wednesday, said two groups have already committed to buy some of the supply next week while the agency’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service will identify more markets.
“For next week, DA-CAR has coordinated with Ateneo de Manila and the Rural Rising wherein they will be buying 1.5 metric tons (MT), and 4 MT of tomatoes, respectively,” it said.
Ifugao Provincial Agriculturist Domingo B. Mariano said the tomatoes grown by Enza Aguinao, one of the affected farmers, were unsold as a result of the “non-arrival of buyers from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Luzon.”
Mr. Mariano said the absence of buyers was due to the “no-vaccination, no entry” policy being observed across local borders.
Diego Madino, a stall owner at the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) said about six metric tons (MT) of tomatoes were dumped in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya due to lack of buyers.
“The prices of tomatoes have decreased from P40 to P10 for the past week,” NVAT said.
According to the DA-CAR, a total of 71,653 MT of tomatoes worth P641,947 from Tinoc town in Ifugao were linked, delivered, and marketed to NCR this year. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave