DA to address veggies oversupply in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY — An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Cordillera on Tuesday said the two-day oversupply of some vegetables could be addressed through information sharing among the local government units.

“We are planning to share to all local governments the ‘crop survey’ report collated by the DA from all the local government units involved in vegetable production to allow them to see the situation and decide how to manage the supply that will come from them,” DA- Cordillera Administrative Region officer-in-charge Dr. Cameron Odsey told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Odsey attributed the oversupply of carrots, radish and wombok (Chinese cabbage) on January 7 and 8 to farmers harvesting the same commodity on the same day.

A crop survey is a report that the local governments submit monthly to reflect the number of farmers engaged in growing a particular commodity, the area being planted with specific vegetables, the stage of the production whether newly planted, seedling or near harvest and when the vegetables are due for harvest.

Odsey said these details aim to guide farmers in deciding whether or not to plant a particular commodity on a specific date.

The DA official cited the case of Buguias town, where the crop survey showed the number of farmers who planted potatoes, how big the area is where they were planted, the stage of plants as well as the projected date of harvest.

“If you see that in Buguias, there are more than 300 farmers who will harvest a total of 20 tons of potatoes in March, will you still plant the same commodity now to be harvested also in March? The crop survey will serve as a guide in the decision of the farmers,” Odsey said.

The crop survey was previously the basis of the DA in computing damages in agricultural production during a calamity.

Odsey said the data sharing will simply be a guide but they cannot impose on farmers not to plant a particular commodity on a specific date.

“We are in a democratic society, we can only guide them,” he said.

To date, farmers apply a system where vegetables planted by their neighbors are the same kind planted by everybody in the community, which had become a problem that led to oversupply.

“Market demand should be the basis in planting and not what they see being planted by neighbor farmers,” Odsey said.

Odsey said Cordillera region was struck by a series of calamities during the “habagat” season in July and August, and with Typhoon Ompong in September followed by Typhoon Rosita in November, destroying agricultural products.

He said while there was an oversupply for the three commodities on January 7 and 8, the other vegetables had steady supply and prices.

“Stable na ang prices ng lahat ng mga gulay (The prices of all the vegetables have become stable),” he said, assuring the public that there will be enough supply in the markets. PNA-northboundasia.com