The city government is allocating PHP500,000 to support farmers who have lost income due to plunging farmgate prices as a result of the pandemic.
In a radio interview Wednesday, City Agriculturist Leo Brian Leuterio said the program called CLEAR (Confirm, Locate, Engage, Address and Resolve) was aimed at addressing the loss of income of farmers when their products are bought at a “very low” price.
“Some farmers don’t sell their harvest anymore because it is bought at a very low price. Sometimes, there are no buyers because there are a lot of supplies in the market,” he said.
CLEAR, a program implemented by the City Agriculturist Office (CAO), assists farmers whose income has been affected by the decrease in farmgate prices, particularly on vegetables.
Under the program, the city government buys the products using the allocated funds, repack and distribute them to communities on lockdown, security personnel, and the city’s food ration through the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
“Right now we cannot sell it so we are giving it out to the community,” Leuterio said.
Since last week, the program has assisted some 30 farmers, he added.
Meanwhile, the CAO is set to launch on August 17 the “Farm to Market Highway” which will help farmers sell their harvests to the market through an agricultural cooperative.
Leuterio said several cooperatives and wholesalers have expressed support to the project which is expected to improve the farmgate prices of vegetables. (PNA)