Vegetable farmers have always depended on the weather. When the weather is good, their harvest will likely turn out well. Their produce may only fetch a so-so price in the market but they have more vegetables to sell. When the weather is bad, the harvest may not turn out well. Farmers might have lesser vegetables to sell but the price of their produce is likely to go up so things will still even out.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, the current cold weather has affected vegetable farms in Benguet destroying at least P10 million worth of crops. Here’s a short GMA 7 News report on this matter.
As expected,vegetable prices increased in Manila but middlemen, rather than farmers, appear to be the ones making money. So farmers are selling less vegetables but they are not getting a more favorable price for their produce.
The government also appears to be on a campaign to keep vegetable prices down. This is good from the perspective of consumers but it is very bad from the perspective of a vegetable farmer. Nasira na nga ang gulay nila dahil sa lamig, di pa tumataas ang bayad ng kanilang gulay.
In this second GMA News video, you will see a short clip of La-Trinidad Mayor Nestor Fongwan (with the Agriculture Secretary) stating that vegetable prices should not have increased. I don’t know about you, but I find his statements a little….. something (I can’t find the right word eh).
But for crying out loud mayor, don’t allow yourself to be used by those stupid national officials who are trying to minimize the impact of this cold weather. Of course the price of vegetables should increase. Nasisira ang pananim eh, natural bababa ang supply. At natural din, tataas ang presyo. Rather than insisting that there should be no increase, the better thing to do is to ensure that this increase goes back to the vegetable farmers and not to those opportunistic middlemen.
RELATED POST: The Week That Was. VIDEO CREDIT: GMANews.TV. (here and here).
3 thoughts on “Biag di Gardinero (The Lives of Vegetable Farmers)”
i’m telling you, i’m converting my small patch of land into marijuana cultivation. this hobbit government is inept
Ha ha. Some are already doing that and I certainly don’t blame them. Ingat ka nga lang at baka ka mahuli at malagay sa Bilibid 🙂
the situation for highland vegetable farmers has always been similar with that of gamblers, or maybe just a little worse for the farmers. they sow the seeds and tend to them till they are fit to harvest.(this last sentence over-simplifies the whole gardening process- the endless hours of labor, the never ending expenses, plus the psychological pain that accompanies the gardening endeavour (pests attack, the weather gets uncooperative, gloria is still not resigning, etc, etc…) come harvest time, one might imagine that the farmer should now be given his just compensation, but no. the selling is beyond his control and it is really up to the gods if they allowed the market forces to work in the farmer’s favor. it’s not seldom when the farmer actually gets more indebted when the sales is not enough to cover the car’s rental-if he had to rent one. imagine that- all the months of hard work and he is now fully in debt. it would have been better if he just allowed his plants to rot or he shouldn’t have wasted his time on his garden plots. he should have just slept the entire time. he should have used the money to gamble- the risks, i think, would be practically even with gardening. sure, economics should be allowed to play its course; let the law of supply and demand prevail over the market. but couldn’t our poor farmers be given a fairer deal? in other countries, subsidizing the farmers is the norm. the debate in some parliaments in these countries would actually center on whether to subsidize the area of the lot planted or the actual production from said lot. either way, the farmer is assured of a decent income. we can only turn green with envy.