LEGISLATORS in La Trinidad, Benguet are pushing for a support program for cutflower and vegetable farmers that will be activated whenever a pandemic is declared.
The Municipal Council of La Trinidad approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance establishing a support program for La Trinidad vegetable and cutflower farmers affected by oversupply and non-demand in times of pandemic and epidemic. The propose ordinance was authored by Councilors Nestor Fongwan Jr., Renato Tereng and Guiller Galwan.
Officials observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about instances where an oversupply of vegetables occurred in trading centers in the town, causing losses to farmers who either opt to sell their produce at a very low price or end up throwing their products.
The officials said the ordinance aims to assist farmers in the town in trading their vegetable produce in times of pandemic.
Under the approved measure, the farm should be located within the municipality and farmers must be registered to the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, while crops must be registered with the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (Omag).
When oversupply and non-demand occurs, the farmer must bring his produce to the designated storage and staging area to be managed by Omag and assisted by the General Services Office.
Omag is also tasked with the implementation of the program and must inspect the product and determine what should be bought and be processed in the voucher for the payment program.
For vegetables, the town will pay 60 percent of the production cost per kilo but must not exceed the amount of P20,000.
Omag will also be tasked to distribute the vegetable and cutflower seeds to those in need and look for possible markets and linkages.
A budget of P1 million is eyed for vegetable farmers and P500,000 for cutflower farmers.