February 22, 2024

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera has successfully linked tomato farmers in Ifugao to institutional buyers in other regions.

The agency has linked institutional buyers from the commercial and industrial side in Metro Manila to the tomato farmers of Asipulo, Ifugao.

Since October, four metric tons (MT) of tomatoes are being delivered to the buyers on a weekly basis at an agreed price of P45 per kilo.

DA-Cordillera OIC Regional Executive Director Jennilyn M. Dawayan added, the agency’s participation in the World Food Expo (Wofex) has opened more opportunities for tomato growers in Ifugao.

“Our participation in the Wofex yielded results. With their help, we were able to introduce the Cordillera’s prospect to provide the needs of some companies such as Tosen Foods, Incorporated,” Dawayan said.

The Tosen Foods, a sardines processor in Bulacan, has agreed to purchase 40 MT of tomatoes every month starting January 2024.

The volume to be delivered was committed by the tomato-producing municipalities in Ifugao specifically Asipulo, Hingyon, and Hungduan during a business-to-business discussion.

“We are happy that they continued to consider our farmers in the Cordillera as a source of raw materials starting January 2024,” Dawayan said.

The DA-Cordillera also continuously assists the tomato farmers in terms of logistics for the transport of the committed tomatoes to institutional buyers in other regions including Metro Manila.

Aside from that, several Kadiwa trucks were turned over to interested and qualified local government units and farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) since last year.

The Tinoc LGU Impugong Farmers Movement Association, Abatan Vegetable Farmers Association, and Ammungan Multipurpose Cooperative received one Kadiwa truck each in 2022 for its consolidation and marketing activities.

There are additional four trucks under procurement to be turned over to the provincial government.

To boost tomato production, various interventions specifically hybrid tomato seeds, fertilizers, small irrigation facilities, and agricultural production machineries are being distributed yearly to qualified farmers and associations not only in Ifugao but in other tomato-producing areas in the region.

In Ifugao alone, about 80 percent of the total allocation for high value crops is being provided to Tinoc being the major high value crop producer in the province.

A tomato processing facility worth P3 million was also constructed under Bayanihan II in 2021 at the Ifugao State University in Lamut, Ifugao to facilitate the processing of tomatoes especially during peak season of harvest. – Janice B. Agrifino