A total of 149,689 metric tons of cabbage and Chinese cabbage from 88 farmers from the Cordillera were sold through government efforts to link farmers to buyers, arresting further wastage of vegetables in the region.
Department of Agriculture -Cordillera Administrative Region (DACAR) data showed that its “Veggie Connect” program enabled farmers to sell to government agencies and private sectors within the region and those from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the National Capital Region.

The vegetables were from farmers queuing up at Agripinoy Trading Center and those from the villages of Cada and Balili in Mankayan and Natubleng in Buguias; Barangay Tinoc in Ifugao, Mountain Province; and farmer cooperatives from Sagada and Bauko in Mountain Province. The DA said there are still buyers who have indicated
readiness to receive supplies in case vegetables continue to remain unsold. “We are linking the farmers to buyers, with the government subsidizing the cost of logistics because we want to help the cabbage and Chinese cabbage
farmers who were not able to sell their produce due to the drop in prices,” DA-CAR Officer-in-Charge Executive
Director Jennilyn Dawayan told the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

“They (farmers) authorized us to do the market linking activities for them,” she added. Dawayan said they asked
organizations and cooperatives that were provided with DA service delivery trucks to lend some of their units to continue helping the farmers through the “Kadiwa on Wheels” program. “We are actually helping move the food to the consumers. Affordable, if not cheap, food from the farms of the Cordillera,” she said. Kadiwa is another DA
initiative where farmers directly sell their produce without the need for intermediaries, thus lowering prices
No overproduction The same DA-CAR data showed that from October to December 2022, the volume of production for cabbage and Chinese cabbage was at 158,614.33 metric tons (MT).

The volume declined to 155,695.55 metric tons for the same period in 2023. In January 2023, production for the said
vegetables reached 16,196 metric tons and is projected to decrease to 11,010 metric tons for the first month of this
year. February will have a slight increase of 6.47 percent from the actual 13,787 MT production in 2023 and an
increase of 10.68 percent for March 2024 compared to the 17,545 MT in 2023, DA data showed. “We are trying to see if there is a shift in buying patterns and demand that led to many unsold produce,” Dawayan said.

(Liza Agoot/PNA)

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