Farmers are not to blame for the oversupply of vegetables, traders say

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Philstar.com

September 9, 2022 | 1:12 p.m

MANILA, Philippines — While a senior agriculture official blamed farmers for the oversupply of Batanes garlic and Benguet cabbage, traders on Friday said they were not to blame but a mix of other factors.

“It is true that we do not have plant programming here. But I don’t think it’s going to bother farmers to think about what to plant to avoid oversupply or undersupply,” Agot Balanoy, spokesman for the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area, told ABS’s TeleRadyo in Filipino -CBN.

Balanoy said the Agriculture Ministry should take the lead in crop planning so farmers don’t plant unaware of what crops are being grown in other areas, which she says is one of the reasons for the abundance of vegetables.

“These are individual farmers. Whoever plants in one community does not know what is planted in other communities. Therefore, they have no way of knowing that what they planted was also planted by their companions,” she said.

Jesson Del-Amen, chief operations officer at Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center, told TeleRadyo in a separate interview that the lack of irrigation is also one of the reasons for the oversupply of vegetables.

“The problem is that there are areas that are not irrigated. So what they do is time their planting with the rain. Those with irrigation are in luck as they have to follow a pattern. But other farmers are waiting for the rain. So when a community grows cabbage, naturally there is a lot of cabbage,” Del-Amen said.

He added: “We don’t want to establish who is to blame here. We should help each other so that we can implement the plans of the government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture.” — Xave Gregorio

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