DA: Strict importation of garlic to be enforced

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday that it will strictly implement measures in garlic importation to make sure that it will not be abused to protect the local variety.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala made the statement as he assured that garlic prices, which increased to more than P300 recently, would stabilize by July.

He said it was a "blessing in disguise" that the sudden surge in garlic prices early this month served as a wake-up call, with unscrupulous traders trying to manipulate prices when the local garlic production has just been revived.

Earlier, the DA coordinated with the Department of Trade and Industry to arrest the ascent of the prices of garlic and other basic commodities.

"We expect the price of garlic to continue to stabilize next month," Alcala noted, after confirming that National Garlic Action Team (NGAT) has submitted its recommendations.

While government will still allow importation of garlic, he said the DA would strictly enforce measures that will ensure that it will not be abused to protect the resurgence of local variety, which found a niche in production boom, particularly in the north.

Alcala was set to inaugurate an onion and garlic hangar storage in Barangay Nalvo in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte on Wednesday. The storage facility has the potential to serve more than 1,000 hectares of onion and garlic plantations in Ilocos.

The onion-garlic storage was built to hold loosely stored onion in bulk or bags as it provides a shed with good ambient air circulation for cool and dry storage condition.

Meanwhile, the trucks making the rounds of local markets as part of the bawang caravan have increased in number, Alcala said.

"We are exploring the possibility of having the 'bawang' caravans in the markets regularly, every day of the week, and we intend to sustain the rolling stores for the benefit of our consumers and also for the benefit of our garlic farmers," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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