Vegetable farmers seek help in selling squash in Nueva Ecija warehouses

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2023 10:58 PM

Vegetable farmers in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija are seeking help to sell tons of squashes, which are currently stored in many of their warehouses.

An 'oversupply' of squashes is hounding their farmers, who simultaneously planted the vegetable after good profits last planting season.

However, there are not enough buyers, so some squashes have already been rotting.

Rotten squashes were seen along the highway in Barangay Batitang in the Zaragoza town.

Farmers say this unfortunate incident meant big losses for this planting season, as they shelled out P40,000 for capital to plant squash in a hectare of land.

The oversupply caused farm gate price of squash to drop to as low as P7 per kilo.

Traders have been haggling to as low as P2.50 per kilo.

"Napakahirap ng dinadanas naming magtatanim, talagang napakahirap, diyan lang kami umaasa kaya walang pambili ng pagkain. Maghihintay lang kami nang magmamagandang loob na bibili," said Mario Dalag, a farmer.

The local government has been making efforts to link their farmers to potential buyers.

They have already coordinated with the regional agriculture office to ensure there will be buying the produce.

"Yung LGU hindi natutulog, nandiyan lang kami to help them. Just in case na magkaroon ng problema, hindi maibenta, mayroon naman kaming processing, yung Batitang cooperative, nagpoprocess na sila ng kalabasa ketchup," said Rosenita Gonzales, municipal agriculturist of Zaragoza town.

The municipal agriculture office said post harvest facilities and transportation aid from the national government will be highly beneficial to farmers.

For its part, the Department of Agriculture said it is working on looking for buyers and partners for the farmers.

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