The Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines addresses concern regarding the unsold tomatoes in Tinoc, in the province of Ifugao.
According to Ifugao provincial agriculturist, Dr. Domingo Mariano, the tomatoes cultivated by farmer Enza Aguinao were unsold because of the non-arrival of buyers from National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 3 due to the strict implementation of a ‘no vaccination, no entry” policy that is being implemented in various checkpoints by the local government units (LGUs).
This was affirmed by Diego Madino, a stall owner at the Nueva Vizcaya Agriculture Terminal (NVAT), who said that about six metric tons (MT) of tomatoes were dumped due to a lack of buyers. Others were taken by duck and hog raisers.
The Regional High-Value Crops Management Program reported that Aguinao was able to earn a gross income of P800,000. However, last week, she brought home 2 MT of unsold small and ripe tomatoes from her latest harvest. She returned it to her farm, which is the normal practice in the area where it was plowed back.
In 2020, the DA-CAR assisted a total volume of 58,991 MT of tomatoes from the municipality of Tinoc with a total value of P507,467. This year, a total of 71,563 MT with a total value of P641,947 was linked, transported, and marketed to NCR.
As a way forward, the agency will coordinate with the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) and the LGU to use KADIWA trucks for the transporting and marketing of tomatoes and coordinate with the DA-AMAS to look for more markets.
For more information, visit the website of the Philippine government.