TALAKAG, Bukidnon (MindaNews / 20 Sept) — The shipment of 20 tons of vegetables to Manila supposedly on Thursday afternoon to augment its supply and help stabilize the prices of vegetables there following typhoon ‘Ompong,’ has been delayed due to bad weather in Northern Mindanao.
Roxana Hojas, Assistant Director of the Department of Agriculture in Region 10, said the transport plane would have arrived in Laguindingan airport Thursday afternoon but the flight was aborted due to bad weather.
She said the plane was supposed to load 20 tons of carrots, cabbage, pepper and cauliflower for the Manila market which has been reeling from rising prices of vegetables after farms in Baguio and other parts of Northern Luzon were inundated ‘Ompong’ (Mangkhut).”
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol had promised to flood the Manila market with vegetables grown in Bukidnon to augment supply and help stabilize the prices there.
Hojas said Pinol ordered the deployment of planes and ships to bring the vegetables to Manila until the prices stabilize.
Thursday’s shipment would have been the second to Manila had not the flight been aborted.
Last Sunday, eight tons of assorted vegetables were shipped to Manila on board a ship from Cagayan de Oro
Talakag town administrator Alberto Bigcas said they assured Pinol that their farmers can ship 30 tons of vegetables a week to Manila.
Bigcas added that in case vegetable prices in Cebu City will spike due to the landslide in Naga City, farmers from Talakag can still fill in the demand.
“We can supply the markets in Manila and Cebu at the same time. Our farmers have enough vegetables to supply the two markets,” he said.
Bigcas said Talakag has 2,974 hectares planted to vegetables and produces 30 tons a week.
Ryan Danio, president of Miarayon Highland Farmers Association said they welcomed the call from the government and produced the 20 tons that was supposed to have been shipped on Thursday.
He said the government promised to pay them P1.7 million for the vegetables, based on the prevailing prices in Cagayan de Oro.
“This shipment is a blessing to us. We have been looking for a way to enter the vegetable market in Manila,” Danio said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)