Discernment in social media postings on veggie situation sought
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Mar. 31 (PIA) – – The chief operations officer of the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) calls on netizens to be discerning or sensitive on what they post in the social media about vegetable concerns as this maybe used as gauge in dictating prices .
“We have to be careful on what we are posting (on vegetable situation) as it affects the whole vegetable industry,” Violeta Salda said.
It is not the deadly coronavirus disease(COVID-19) that caused the slump in the prices of highland vegetables but the social media post of vegetables being thrown or dumped that went viral, she claimed.
To a great extent, it has a negative impact on the province’s economy and other neighbouring vegetable producing areas which redound to the unreciprocated efforts of farmers.
Salda shared the plight of farmers who were affected early on by a post circulating in social media of loads of carrots being dumped, which would have been given to people during this Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) where movement is restricted as people are advised to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID.
Reaching Manila after a long and tedious 18-hour travel due to protocols along checkpoints at Marcos Highway and along NLEX during the initial implementation of the ECQ, buyers just bargained the truckloads of vegetables, Salda said.
”Basura lang naman ang mga gulay sa Benguet,” (Vegetables in Benguet are just garbage), buyers would say. Carrots prices went down to as low as P5.00 to P1.00.
Salda said farmers give in to the bargain as dictated by the “artificial situation” rather than bring back home the same load.
She disclosed that there are also some buyers calling directly at the BAPTC negotiating and making bargains as they consider highland vegetables as garbage,
“We have already suffered and it doesn’t mean our vegetables are just garbage,” Salda said.
We have to help our farmers including traders and those selling and the whole vegetable industry, she appealed.
Salda informed that even if travel of truckloads of vegetables is already smooth sailing through checkpoints through the help of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior and Local Government, low buying price is still being experienced.
“It should be a win-win solution. They buy at reasonable price for a good price for consumers and for farmers who produce for a well-deserved price. We have to consider mark up price for production cost, transportation cost and other expenses,” she said. (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)