MORE GOV’T SUPPORT NEEDED
PANGASINAN can be a major garlic producer if the government supports it.
This was claimed by the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, led by Rosendo So, who reiterated its call that if the government wants to improve the lot of farmers in the country, it should allocate more funds targeting activities that will directly boost their activities, including fight against smuggling,
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, So specifically recommended that government allocate funds that will enable the Pangasinan State University campuses to establish garlic seedbeds to boost the production of garlic to encourage the planting of local garlic by local farmers.
He said, cartels are exploiting the lack of production by manipulating and controlling the supply and price of garlic that has soared to P200 a kilo.
“92 percent of garlic is imported from India, China and Taiwan while only 7.5 percent is locally produced,” So said.
He recalled that in 2015, the Department of Agriculture and SINAG launched a pilot project for garlic planting in Pangasinan but there were no seedlings of garlic available in 2016.
The pilot project was started in Sison. Umingan, Bayambang and Urdaneta.
So also called on the Duterte administration to allocate more funds to construct more irrigation projects to irrigate the 500,000 un-irrigated areas and to intensify its campaign against smuggling of agricultural commodities. (Nora Dominguez)