MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture is studying the need to set new safeguards for garlic importation, following the spike in garlic prices.
Agriculture Undersecretary Ron Palad says the DA's National Garlic Action team is proposing a staggered importation of garlic to help curb the seeming dependence on imported garlic.
Palad noted an estimated 30,000 tons of imported garlic arrived in the country last April, despite the rising production of local garlic.
"Ang thrust ni Secretary Alcala is import substitution if kaya produce locally bakit pa kailangan magimport... Ang National Garlic Action Team ay nagpropose na pansamantalang maglagay ng 40,000 MT importation ng garlic," he said on ANC.
The DA official also urged the public to patronize local garlic.
"Yun imported mas maganda tingnan pero pinatunayan na nahati consumption nung gumamit ng local garlic kasi more potent yun local na garlic natin," Palad said.
Palad said in January to March, local garlic production has already hit 8,308 MT. In 2012, local garlic production stood at 8,681 MT, while in 2013, it rose slightly to 8,847 MT.
"We are projecting lalampas ng 10,000 MT for the full year," he said.
However, demand for garlic is estimated at 120,000 to 130,000 MT annually.
Meanwhile, garlic produced by local farmers will be available in rolling stores strategically positioned in key markets.
They will be sold in 6-kilogram bags at wholesale prices ranging from P100-P200 per kilo. - ANC