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Frosting now attacks Benguet’s farm vegetables because of thetemperature dropped to a near-icy 9°C.

Frost attacks Benguet veggies, DA promised to help farmers


Frosting now attacks Benguet’s farm vegetables because of thetemperature dropped to a near-icy 9°C.
Frosting now attacks Benguet’s farm vegetables because of thetemperature dropped to a near-icy 9°C.

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – Frosting now attacks Benguet’s farm vegetables because of thetemperature dropped to a near-icy 9°C.

On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is set to carry out both short- and long-term measures to help Benguet farmers cope better with the problem of vegetable frosting.

“Sabi nga po ng iba, 50 years nang problema ‘yan, so hindi na po tayo papayag na matapos ang termino ng Pangulong Aquino na hindi natin ‘yan nabibigyan ng permanenteng solusyon,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said after meeting with other DA officials to review their rehabilitation and sustainability plan for the affected vegetable farmers.

Within this week, DA is scheduled to deliver its initial assistance to affected farmers in Benguet’s three barangays – Barangay Paoay, Atok and Barangay Madaymen in Kibungan – that include 10 units of power sprayers; 20 rolls of rubber hose; 50 pieces of plastic drums; and 10 rolls of plastic sheets to be used in making rain-shelters.

An info-caravan will also be conducted by Friday or Saturday to help educate around 100 farmers about frosting and urgent measures that could be done to prevent, if not totally eliminate, huge damages on crops. Several kilos of replacement seeds will also be provided. The DA regional field office in the Cordillera Administrative Region said around 500 farmers will benefit from the initial help.


Agriculture officials say timely adoption of mitigating methods could greatly reduce losses. For instance, Cordillera farmers would usually sprinkle water at the plants at the onset of frosting to save leaves from wilting. Many of them have also learned to adjust their planting calendar so as to harvest early and avoid a frost season.

As a long-term solution, water-impounding facilities will be constructed strategically in frost-prone areas, with some enhancements in the design. Secretary Alcala said the modified design would allow farmers to pump water into farms situated in more elevated areas where frosting normally occurs. DA will also establish additional rain-shelters and greenhouses so that farmers can grow and harvest crops even during rainy and cold seasons.

These interventions will be in addition to what DA had already delivered or established in Benguet, which include P2.4-million water impounding facility, a greenhouse and several units of power sprayers in Atok, usually the most affected area. The provincial government has also been provided with seeds last year, DA said.

“Actually, we have been proactive in our actions,” said Secretary Alcala. “These [immediate solutions] have already been incorporated in our 2014 programming prepared a year ago. So now, it is just a matter of hastening, or in some cases, expanding the scope of its implementation.”

In a statement released before the weekend, DA assured Metro Manila consumers that vegetable frosting in Benguet will not lead to a shortage of upland vegetables as it affected merely three hectares of potato and cabbage farms in Barangay Paoay, Atok and Barangay Madaymen in Kibungan, Benguet. Of the total affected areas, only one-fourth hectare was totally damaged. The provincial government estimates Benguet has 25,000 hectares of vegetable farms.

DA is now closely monitoring the occurrence of frosting in the three barangays, as well as other farming communities in Benguet. In case a need for additional supply arises, it also works to prepare alternative sources of upland vegetables for Metro Manila, notably Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.