Food terminal eyed as solution to overproduction of produce in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The recent overproduction of high-value vegetables in the upland farms of Cebu City has brought to light the concerns of food wastage.
Councilor Philip Zafra, City Council’s chairperson for the committee on agriculture, said that in the past weeks, the overproduction was difficult for the farmers in the city especially since even the Carbon Market would no longer accept their goods.
The City Agriculture Department (CAD) assisted the farmers in bringing their goods to the markets in the urban barangays in the hope that this could reduce the number of produce remaining in the upland.
The CAD has also requested the reopening of the Tabo at Plaza Sugbo so that the farmers can have an avenue to sell their fresh goods directly to consumers in the urban area.
Mayor Edgardo Labella was hesitant to approve the request and said he would have the Tabo studied to avoid any form of crowd gathering and violation of social distancing should it reopen.
Yet all of these are just short-term solutions, according to Councilor Zafra. For him, the long-term solution would really be to build and establish a food terminal in the city.
He said proposals and plans were currently being discussed on how the food terminal would be established, but the primary concept would be to place it at the South Road Properties so the space would be wide enough for incoming trucks and cargos.
Zafra said that a food terminal would allow the City Market Operations Division (MOD) to control the supply and prevent wastage of crops and goods during seasons when overproduction could be expected.
“Katong atong food terminal eventually maconstruct to naa man toy cold storage facility. Pwede kaayo ato nila ibagsak ilang crops, at least atong mga farmers dili na mag-agad sa oras sa Carbon Market,” said Zafra in a phone interview with CDN Digital.
(Our food terminal which will eventually be constructed will have a cold storage facility. They can bring their produce there and at least the farmers would not have to depend on what time the Carbon Market will open.)
The councilor said that the city would want to build not just one food terminal but as many as needed in order to deliver goods faster to the consumers.
This is not the only solution the city government is looking into to avoid future overproduction.
The CAD is also organizing the farmers to teach them crop rotation to ensure that they will not be planting only one or a few kinds of crops that they think are profitable because this will eventually cause overproduction.
Instead, the farmers are encouraged to rotate their crops so that there will be enough supply of vegetables in the city without these vegetables becoming too cheap.
Zafra has also appealed to barangays with local markets to prioritize sourcing their goods from the city’s own upland farmers.
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