BAGUIO CITY – A Department of Agriculture (DA) official from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is optimistic about policy enhancements that would benefit the region’s vegetable production and address price fluctuations.
In a phone interview Friday, DA Regional Director lawyer Jennilyn Dawayan said Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel has asked the regional office to come up with plans and recommendations on the status of the vegetable industry and to look at the statistics to address the problems on price movements.
“The secretary recognizes the vegetable industry and its contribution to the national economy and he wants to look at vegetable production. He specifically wants to visit the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) built by the DA, which is managed by the department and the Benguet State University,” she said in Ilocano.
BAPTC is one of the major trading facilities in Benguet's capital town, La Trinidad. It was constructed about 10 years ago. The original plan was to have processing facilities and storage, not just trading of fresh products.
Dawayan said Laurel “wants to see agricultural data to be correct” since this is the basis of everything, and noted that the DA chief is against importation.
She said the secretary aims to have more programs that would improve farmers’ harvest and income.
“He wants to see how much is the real cost of production. By knowing the real situation, cost reduction could be implemented and the high cost of logistics, in terms of producing and moving items, will be addressed,” she added.
Dawayan is positive that with Laurel seeing the importance of bottoms-up-planning there is a big chance for food supply and prices to become stable.
“I am seeing a lot of policy change and systems to be adopted for better operation,” she said. (PNA)