Ilocos Norte gov’t buys 7.8 tons of garlic from growers

DINGRAS, Ilocos Norte, Oct. 9 (PNA) — Garlic growers in this town were able to sell at least 7.8 tons of their garlic produce this harvest season directly from the provincial government.

Pegged at a price ranging from PHP84 per kilo for Class A, PHP77 for Class B and PHP70 for Class C, farmers here who were one of those hardly-hit by typhoon need not to go to traders or middle men as the provincial government has resumed buying farmers’ produce such as garlic, a high value crop in Ilocos region.

Led by Governor Imee Marcos, her administration through its continuing Capitol Express program is reaching out to villages where to buy tons of garlic directly from farmer-beneficiaries.

Since May 2015, the Marcos administration has started buying garlic from local growers to stabilize market prices.

As the country’s top garlic producer supplying over 69 percent of the national production, the provincial government in partnership with the state-run Mariano Marcos State University and the Department of Agriculture converge to revitalize the garlic industry here. Quality seed stocks were earlier distributed to farmers where the latter agreed to return it back to the provincial government after the harvest season.

This buy back scheme, according to Dingras Mayor Erdio Valenzuela is a big help to farmers, as they are assured of sustainable income.

Valenzuela said Dingras farmers are inspired more to boost their production because they are assured of stable garlic price particularly now that the country is all set for the ASEAN integration or free trade.

“All we have to do is to continue on improving our quality planting stocks and make them patronize our locally-grown garlic varieties,” said Edwin Carińo, head of the Millenium Development Goals Office of the provincial government.

Aside from Dingras town, the Capitol Express team is set to buy more in the garlic-producing municipalities of the first district of Ilocos Norte.(PNA)