The Department of Agriculture (DA) will roll out today tons of locally-produced garlic to key public markets in Metro Manila to counter the “highly unusual” price surge.
Leandro Gazmin, DA OIC-Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing, said the agency is also set to convene today the National Garlic Action Team to formulate measures to address the problem.
Garlic sourced from accredited farmers’ cooperatives will be sold in key public markets notably in Marikina, Commonwealth, Pasig and Nepa-Q Mart.
Garlic producers’ cooperatives in Ilocos, Mindoro, Nueva Vizcaya, and Batanes will be fielding 50 trucks to sell 435,000 kilograms of garlic. Gazmin said these will be sold for P100 to P200 per kilo depending on the size.
Last week, prices of garlic skyrocketed to P290 per kilo for the imported variety and P180 per kilo for the local variety, prompting Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to order an investigation.
According to Alcala, “the high price of garlic could be the handiwork of unscrupulous traders who want to create an artificial shortage.”
Gazmin said garlic prices usually rise during this season “but never before of this magnitude.”