MANILA - Dr. Clarito Barron clarified he was not sacked as chief of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), but only transferred to another office that would ensure better harvesting of agricultural crops.
In an interview with ANC, Barron said he was designated as special technical adviser on field operation service, which is still under the Department of Agriculture.
He said the movement has nothing to do with the spike in garlic prices to as much as P400 per kilo.
He said the BPI is just a part of the National Garlic Action Team (NGAT), which is a collegial body that calibrates the need for importation. It is composed of industry stakeholders, local government units, and other groups.
He said the importation was just enough to cover the demand until April, with the expectation that local output will cover the demand in the next few months.
The local output did not pan out, and later, imported products were already selling at around P300 to P400 per kilo.
“It seems there is some sort of manipulation,” he said.
Meanwhile, his job as special adviser is to ensure that the government’s programs on implementing and promoting high quality seeds will be strengthened.
He said the program is expected to lead to the distribution of planting materials to farmers “and increase the harvest of their agricultural products.”