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DA opens door to fruit farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will open a Christmas night fruit market today inside the agency’s compound in Quezon City, allowing legitimate fruit farmers to sell their products directly to consumers.

Secretary Manny Piñol said the program is an innovative response to fruit farmers’ complaint regarding the misdeeds of middlemen and traders when it comes to buying their products.

Piñol has directed DA’s officials to ask the permission of the Quezon City government to allow legitmate fruit farmers to use the frontage of the DA Compound to display their fruits at night.

“This is to send a clear message to the traders and middlemen dealing with agriculture products that the DA will do everything it could to protect the interests of the small farmers,” said Piñol.

At the same time Piñol assured that their agency will come up with much better innovations that will discourage traders from deceiving hapless farmers.

“Lacatan banana producers, for example, say that from a high of P27 per kilo, buyers are now offering only P15,” Piñol said. “Since the banana farmers depend on their engagements with traders and middlemen to sell their products, they are literally helpless now.”

Pomelo farmers from Mindanao could only fetch R15 per kilo of their produce for what used to be sold for R50 per kilo. (Ellalyn B. De Vera)