By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The frost covers a small portion of the vegetable farms in the Cordillera and will not in any way have an effect in the supply of vegetables, or its prices, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
“We are assuring the public that there will be enough supply and stable prices of vegetables,” Department of Agriculture-Cordillera officer-in-charge Dr. Cameron Odsey said on Wednesday.
Frosting happens when temperature drops.
For years, the frost phenomenon has been happening in a small area in Barangay Paoay in Atok.
Odsey said that area covers a very small portion of the region’s total land area used in vegetable production.
He also said that farmers have learned how to manage frost to avoid damaging their product.
In case the outer leaves wilt due to the frost, the farmers simply remove them and the remaining are still sold.
Odsey insisted that the frost in Baranglay Paoay will not make a dent in the supply nor lead to increase in prices due to lack of supply.
“Hindi totoo na nagkukulang ang supply kapag may frost kaya tumataas ang presyo ng gulay, walang katotohanan yun (It is wrong to claim that the frost destroys vegetables diminishing the supply and causing an increase in prices, there is no truth to that),” Odsey pointed out.
Benguet produces a majority of the highland vegetables in the Cordillera, which are brought to all parts of the country. Out of the 13 towns in Benguet, vegetables in commercial quantity are produced by the municipalities of Atok, Buguias, Mankayan, Tublay, Kabayan, Kibungan and a few from the towns of Bokod, La Trinidad, Kapangan, Bakun, Sablan, Tuba, and Itogon.
Benguet’s production is also supplemented by those grown in Bauko town in Mountain Province as well as Tinoc town in Ifugao – all adjacent to Benguet province.
On Tuesday, the temperature in Atok dipped to 10 degrees Celsius.
Odsey said there were also reports of the frost phenomenon in Barangay Madaymen, Kibungan, and Sto. Tomas in Tuba, a highland farming area.