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Farmer hands out cabbage harvest due to low prices
Jimmy K. Laking
Headlines, 4-13-2014

Unable to bargain for a higher price for his truckload of vegetable harvest last week, Buguias farmer Romeo Wagayan did the unthinkable: he handed out his harvest to people who would love to have cabbage.

Sources at the La Trinidad Trading Post said the selling price of cabbage was averaging from P1 to P7 per kilo for the past two weeks.

When it was Wagayan’s turn to sell his newly harvested cabbage on April 8, the price was P1 to P2 a kilo.  His truck was filled to the brim, containing at least 7,000 tons of cabbage.

““Hence, I decided to give for free than sell with no gain at all,” he said.

Without second thought, he drove his truck towards Bokawkan Road in Baguio City and parked on one side of the road where he can be noticed. Then he began handing over his cabbage to passersby or to strangers who were only too glad to have cabbage. Even taxi drivers who noticed him stopped to have their share.

His truck half-emptied, he went to Crystal Cave and repeated the act until it was emptied.

It is estimated that a farmer spends at least P70,000 to produce 7,000 kilos of cabbage or at least P10 for every plant.

Over-production has been tagged as the primary culprit on the spiraling of vegetable prices, with most farms in Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province planted to the same crop at almost the same time.

To make matters worse, even cabbage produced in Nueva Vizcaya and Vigan (Ilocos Sur) have been trucked to the trading post, bloating up supply.

The Department of Agriculture has been promoting crop programming as a means to controlling over-production but doubts were raised on whether or not this has been implemented on the farm level considering the surge in the supply of major vegetable commodities that continues to flood the trading post.

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