MANILA - The Department of Agriculture plans to deploy trucks to haul vegetables from agricultural provinces and sell the produce in Metro Manila, Secretary William Dar said Friday, after reports of some farmers throwing away tons of crops that could not be sold due to the coronavirus lockdown in Luzon.
Some Cordillera farmers earlier dumped truckloads of carrots into a ravine after prices of the rootcrop fell to P1 to P8 per kilo due to a surplus and lack of buyers.
"Sa mga region, may surplus tayo sa vegetables... Kung kinakailangan, 'yung extreme cases, tayo na 'yung magdala nung vegetable produce na 'yan sa Metro Manila," Dar told DZMM.
(We have a surplus of vegetables in our regions... If needed, in extreme cases, we will be the ones who will bring those vegetable produce to Metro Manila.)
"Meron kaming mga truck sa regional offices... i-mobilize lahat 'yan at itinda sa Kadiwa areas or ili-link namin sila sa local government units at pag nabenta na namin yang vegetables na yan, babayaran namin farmers pagbalik," he said.
(We have trucks in our regional offices... We can mobilize those and sell it to Kadiwa areas or we can link them to local governments and we can sell those vegetables and pay them.)
Dar said he would also ask the Inter-Agency Task Force if truckloads of vegetables and other agricultural products could be escorted to the capital city to ensure that the goods will not be barred in checkpoints.
Luzon was placed under a month-long quarantine earlier this month to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).