February 25, 2024

The cancelation of festivals and other crowd-drawing events in the Cordillera due to the threats of the Covid-19 has adversely affected the vegetable industry in the region, an official of a trader’s group in Benguet said on Friday.
Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative Manager Agot Balanoy said the last month of 2019 and the first two months of 2020 have been difficult for the vegetable industry.
She said suspension of the Panagbenga had led to the drop in the sales of vegetables locally.
She said suspension of the Panagbenga has led to hotels, restaurants, and resorts’ limiting their orders due to the low demand for food in establishments.
Balanoy said cancelation of the festivals in other parts of the region also resulted in a decrease in the demand for vegetables, substantially reducing the orders at the vegetable trading post.
“Few vegetables are being bought and transported to other regions,” she said.
Balanoy, however, said the supply of vegetables is steady.
“There are no calamities and there is nothing to disturb the production but the demand is just low that it caused prices to drop,” Balanoy said.
Balanoy said since December 2019, traders have been having a difficult time selling their vegetables in Metro Manila where sellers were prevented from peddling on the streets, effectively reducing orders.
The truck ban in Baguio during the nationwide peak demand for vegetables had also affected the sales of highland produce.
Balanoy said around 130,000 farmers in Benguet supply highland vegetables in different markets nationwide.
She said wholesale prices at the La Trinidad Trading Post dropped.
On Feb. 10, cabbage was sold at P4 to P8 for the mighty ball variety, the rare ball from P6 to P10; scorpio at P10 to P14 per kilo on Feb. 10.
She said these further dropped to P3 to P6, P4 to P7 and P6 to P10 for the same varieties, respectively on Feb. 28.
Balanoy said wombok (Chinese cabbage) was sold on Feb. 10 between P6 to P10 and carrots from P10 to P15 and improved a little on Feb. 28 from P5 to P10 for wombok and P12 to P16 for carrots.
Potato prices remain good from P40 to P55 a kilo depending on the size, Balanoy said.
La Trinidad Municipal Information Officer Joel Cervantes said the drop in vegetable prices is affecting the traders and the farmers who have to face the brunt of the drop in prices with losses due to unsold goods. – PNA