Farmers not to blame for vegetable oversupply, traders say

Farmers not to blame for vegetable oversupply, traders say
File photo shows a market
Walter Bollozos / The STAR

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

“It’s true that we don’t have crop programming here. But I don’t think that it’s the falls on the farmer to think of what to plant so there wouldn’t be an oversupply or undersupply,” Agot Balanoy, spokesperson of the League of Associations La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area, said in Filipino over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

Balanoy said the Department of Agriculture should take the lead in crop programming so farmers would not be planting clueless of what crops are being planted in other areas, which she said is one of the reasons for the overabundance of some vegetables.

“These are individual farmers. Those planting in one municipality do not know what is being planted in other municipalities. That’s why they don’t have any way of knowing that what they planted was also planted by their companions,” she said.

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

“The problem is there are areas that are not irrigated. So what they do is they time their planting with the rain. Those with irrigation are lucky since they have a pattern to follow. But other farmers wait for the rain. That’s why if one municipality plants cabbage, naturally there would be lots of cabbage,” Del-Amen said.

He added, “We don’t want to pinpoint who’s at fault here. We should be helping each other so that we can implement the plans of the government, especially of the Department of Agriculture.” — Xave Gregorio

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