DA official: Vegetable retail prices higher by P5/K

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
DA official: Vegetable retail prices higher by P5/K
Vendors are seen selling various fresh produce at the Baguio City Market on April 25, 2024.
STAR / Andy Zapata Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — A ranking official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) yesterday noted an increase in the retail prices of vegetables amid the impact of Typhoon Aghon in at least three regions in the country.

U-Nichols Manalo, DA Assistant Secretary for operations, said a P5-per-kilo increase in retail prices affected the lowland vegetables from Calabarzon (Region 4-A), Mimaropa (Region 4-B) and Eastern Visayas.

“The movement should not exceed P5 (per kilo). That’s the maximum that we can see,” Manalo said in a chance interview during the 2024 National Farmers and Fisherfolk Month celebration at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management convention hall in Quezon City.

Based on DA monitoring of Metro Manila markets, the retail price of ampalaya (bitter gourd) ranged between P90 and P170 per kilo; string beans, between P80 and P160 per kilo; pechay tagalog, between P70 and P120 per kilo; squash, between P35 and P75 per kilo; eggplant, between P55 and P130 per kilo and tomato, between P55 and P90 per kilo.

“We have enough supply in the market. What should be monitored are those who will take advantage of the situation,” Manalo said.

He also said that at least 21,000 hectares of plantations in the three regions are threatened amid the rains brought by Typhoon Aghon, although the DA central office is still waiting for the field office reports on the extent of damage on standing crops.

“Validation is being done in field offices to determine if the crops were totally damaged or partially damaged and can still recover,” Manalo added.

He gave assurance that the DA has at least P1 billion in quick response fund, which can be used to assist the affected farmers.

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