Dalaguete farmers reel as oversupply of cabbage causes prices to plunge

By: Doris Mae Mondragon - CDN Digital | April 20,2021 - 11:00 AM
An oversupply of cabbages pushed cabbage prices to P6 per kilo.

Photo by Doris Mondragon 

DALAGUETE, Cebu—The biggest risk for vegetable farming is not just with the weather condition but with the demand and supply situation;  a balance between these two are essential to avoid losses and spoilage.

But recently, farmers in Mantalongon, Dalaguete town in southern Cebu are facing a problem as the prices of vegetables have gradually gone down for weeks now.

This is the worry of Elizabeth Geolin, a 52-year-old farmer and a mother of six.

Elizabeth Geolin, 52

“Wa gyod mi nakabawi sa among puhonan. Amo lang gisiguro og bayad ang among hinuwaman nga kwarta para puhonan,” said Elizabeth.

(We have not regained our capital. We are just making sure that we can pay our loans for our capital.)

Elizabeth and her husband, sold 120 kilos of cabbage at the Dalaguete Agri-Pinoy Trading Centre (DAPTC) today, April 19, 2021.

“First time ni namo mananom og repolyo. Unya dako pa gyod mi og alkansi tungod sa kabarato sa presyo sa repolyo,” she told CDN Digital in an interview.

(It our first time to plant cabbage and we have experienced big losses because of the low prices of cabbage.)

Cabbage at P6 per kilo

For three days now, first-class cabbages in Mantalongon are sold at P6 per kilo, while the “reject” or the second-class ones can be bought for as low as P3 per kilo.

This, according to Juan Moran, operations manager of DAPTC, is its lowest price since January of this year.

“Kada adlaw ni namo gina-monitor and volume ug presyo sa mga utanon kay duna man mi link sa Carbon market kung pila’y presyo didto. Amo pud ning ginamonitor ang market destination ug source nato sa mga vegetables diri,” said Moran.

(We are monitoring the volume and the price of the vegetables everyday because we have connections with Carbon market on the prices of vegetables there. We are also monitoring the market destination and our source of vegetables here.)

“Nagsugod ni pagmenus and presyo sa repolyo niadtong tunga-tunga sa February. Last Saturday lang ni ni decrease to P6 ang presyo sa repolyo ug  ang presyo pud sa ubang mga utanon,” he added.

(The drop in prices of cabbage started last February. It was just last Saturday that the prices of cabbage dropped to P6 per kilo and prices of other vegetables also dropped.)

Decrease in demand, increase in supply

An oversupply has caused prices of cabbage to plunge and causing more produce to spoil.

The months of December 2020 to January 2021 brought joy to the farmers here as prices of vegetables were definitely high.

A kilo of cabbage was priced at P80.

Elizabeth said that was what pushed them to try to plant cabbages.

“Taas ang presyo niadtong December naabot og P80 mao tong nananom mi,” she said.

(The prices of cabbage reached P80 per kilo that is why we planted cabbage.)

But Moran said this was also one of the reasons why there was an oversupply of cabbage and also the reason for its low price.

The decrease in demand from the big buyers in Bacolod have also affected the price.

“Nahunong na og pangumpra ang taga Bacolod diri kay toa na pud sila nangompra sa Kanlaon. Mas duol man didto komprahan nya mas makamenus sila sa transportation,” said Moran.

(The buyers from Bacolod have stopped buying here and buy their produce in Kanlaon. It is nearer for them if they buy there and they can save on transportation costs.)

He pointed out the importance of “program planting” where the farmers would get help from the local government in planning what vegetables to plant based on the law of supply and demand, the season and the expected weather condition.

Moran said that they had been educating the farmers through the farmers’ association in their areas as to the how and what of program planting .

“Maayo gyod tong ma-plano sa farmers kung unsay ilang itanom aron pag-abot sa panahon nga mag-harvest na, dili ingon niani nga daghan na kaayo. Magdungan og harvest. Mag-oversupply na,” he said.

(It is better for farmers to plan what they would plant so that when the time comes to harvest them, it would not be like this, where the produce are so many. They harvest at the same time so this results in the oversupply of the produce.)

“Apan dili man ta makabuot sa mga farmers, kung unsa’y ilang gusto itanom kay ilaha manang gasto, sila may mag-atiman ug magpalit pa og abuno ug bomba,” he added.

(But we cannot also impose on the farmers on what plant or vegetables they would plant because it is their own money they spent. They are the ones who take care of the plants, and the purchase of fertilizers and sprays.)

Farmers at a trading center in Dalaguete town.

Hopeful

Despite this trying times for Elizabeth and her family, she is never giving up on farming and hopes for better days to come.

“Dili lang mi motagam kay swerti-swerti man pud ning pananom,” said Elizabeth.

(We will just not give up hope because planting involves luck.)

“Sa pagkakaron, mananom usa mi og sili aron makabawibawi mi, unya mananom na pud puhon og repolyo,” she added.

(For now, we will just plant pepper so that we can recoup our losses. Then we will later plant cabbages.)

/dbs

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TAGS: cabbage, Dalaguete, farmers, mantalongon, oversupply, P6 per kilo, prices

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