Agriculture office belies tomato surplus in Calinan

THE Davao City Agriculturist's Office (CAO) denied the claims of a farmers' rights advocate on a surplus of tomatoes in Barangay Tamayong, Calinan that should be addressed by the government.

CAO Municipal Agriculture Officer Ramon Limatong, in a text message to SunStar Davao on Monday, November 12, said there was no report of oversupply and there was no problem with the buyer of tomatoes in the said area.

“As of today, monitoring sa tomato in barangay Tamayong last week, no problem of buyer price at P400 per box due to Manila demand. As of today, P500 per box,” Limatong said.

He added that there are times that the produce of tomato is fluctuating and there was never a report of surplus yet.

Last week, Argel Cabatbat, farmers' rights advocate and a nominee of Magsasaka Partylist, said that there was a surplus of tomatoes in the said area that should be addressed by the government since the farmers do not have the means to transport these tomatoes to markets where they can be sold.

“They only rely on truck-owning traders who have the capacity to carry harvested crops across the country. Unfortunately, some of these traders take advantage of the farmers’ inability to sell their produce directly,” Cabatbat said in a statement.

He cited news reports on losing as much as P4 million because of the oversupply. Production of tomatoes in the country has been estimated to cost farmers P200,000 per hectare, depending on the variety.

Limatong, however, said the Davao Food Terminal Complex (DFTC) in Toril, once opened, will be the best way to help the farmers.

“[It] will be the best way to help farmers produce for better market or we will post it to agrixchange, a city agricultural office agribusiness market matching and exchange,” he said.

The DFTC was supposed to open last month but Limatong said that there were just some adjustments to its programs and it is expected to open before the year ends.


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