Benguet vegetable prices slashed

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: “There is over supply of vegetables and prices plummeted, this is the case of the vegetable industry in Benguet this week,” said Augusta Balanon, executive manager of the Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative (BFMC).

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Balanon said, since Monday, when the flooding in the lowlands occurred, prices of vegetables went down to as low as P1 per kilo.

At some point, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the number of buyers decreased and even those who purchased lessened their volume, Balanon said.

On the production side, Balanon said, the Baguio-Bontoc road remained open and loaders of Department of Public Works and Highways and the Provincial Government are always on standby to punch through or clear the road slides so that the inflow of vegetables is continuous making the supply high.

But since the demand is low, a lot of vegetables were not bought on Tuesday and Wednesday; the first-class vegetables became second-class, the second-class vegetables started to rot and were thrown away, Balanon said, adding this is true especially for cabbage, wombok, celery and brocoli.

For potatoes and carrots, at least their shelf lives are longer so that no carrots/potatoes were thrown.

Balanon, however, said as of Thursday, there was a noticed increase of prices of vegetables, the rise of prices was triggered by demand from the lowland markets, especially in Metro Manila.

The volume of flood/rainwater in Metro Manila markets started to subside on Thursday night and some roads from provinces were opened on Friday morning so that the Manila orders of veggies increased, she said.

From a low of 8 tons to 10 tons during the monsoon rains brought by Maring, volume of vegetable purchases went up to 18 to 25 tons as of press time, she said.

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