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Locally-produced garlic

DA appeals to public: Patronize locally produced garlic

Locally-produced garlic
Locally-produced garlic

QUEZON CITY, Philippines –  The Department of Agriculture on Monday called on the public  to patronize locally-produced garlic in the wake of the commodity’s price surge in Metro Manila and other markets.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the high price of garlic could be the handiwork of unscrupulous traders who want to create an artificial shortage.

“Please patronize the local garlic, the small sizes only cost P0.80 per piece, the medium P2.00, while the large ones averaged P3.65 each,” said OIC-Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Leandro Gazmin during a press conference at the DA central office in Quezon City. On Tuesday, DA will rollout locally-produced garlic sourced from accredited farmers’ cooperatives and intended for key Metro Manila public markets, notably Marikina, Commonwealth, Pasig and Nepa-Q Mart.

Last week, prices of garlic skyrocketed to P290 per kilo for the imported variety and P180 per kilo for the local variety, prompting Secretary Alcala to order an investigation.

Over the weekend, DA-AMAS, in coordination with garlic producers’ cooperatives in Ilocos, Mindoro, Nueva Vizcaya, and Batanes fielded 50 trucks to sell 435,000 kilograms of locally produced garlic to supply the market.

The Federation of Garlic Growers and Processors of Ilocos Provinces rolled out 300,000 kilos, the Kapisanan ng Magbabawang sa Isla ng Mindoro, 35,000 kilos, while the Batanes Province Garlic Growers and the Nueva Vizcaya Garlic Growers contributed 50,000 kilos each.

According to Gazmin who is also the concurrent director for DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, prices of garlic historically rise during this season but never before of this magnitude.

The DA has called for a National Garlic Action Team meeting on June 10 to formulate additional measures to address the problem.

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.