Sec. Piñol mulls creating “Farmers’ Trading Center” to end vegetable market woes

  • Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol is planning to create a “Farmers’ Trading Center” in Manila
  • The project is aimed at solving the current vegetable market crisis in the metro
  • He will also meet Cordillera farmers to reassure them that the problem is being resolved

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to create a “Farmers’ Trading Center” to solve the vegetable market crisis in Metro Manila.

Last week, around P9-million worth of vegetables – like carrots and cabbage – from Baguio were wasted after the city government of Manila blocked delivery trucks from crossing the Claro M. Recto Ave. because of the ongoing clearing operation in Divisoria.

After several vegetable dealers and wholesalers trooped to the Manila City Hall to air their complaints and grievances, Piñol said he saw a window of opportunity in the ongoing crisis.

“While this development may initially be considered a crisis especially by our vegetable farmers in the Cordilleras, I look at this as a development which offers windows of opportunities,” the Cabinet official wrote on his Facebook account.

“I have long dreamed of and planned the establishment of a Farmers’ Trading Center in Metro Manila to allow provincial food producers to display their products which could be sold on wholesale basis,” he said.

Piñol reiterates, however, that he respects the decision of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to clear the Divisoria streets of vegetable traders and that is well within the latter’s right as the local chief executive.

A “Farmers’ Trading Center”

Piñol recalled his experiences with the provincial government when he was still the North Cotabato governor; during which they sponsored the Fruit Festival at SM malls in Manila and Cebu to showcase their fruit products.

The move supposedly resulted in the forging of trade agreements between local farmers and Metro Manila buyers.

So, upon hearing of the crisis on the news, Piñol said he immediately called one of his undersecretaries to look for a government-owned lot in Metro Manila where the “Farmers’ Trading Center” could be developed.

“The Farmers’ Trading Center that I have in mind will be the delivery point of all products coming from the provinces and where wholesale buyers and traders in Metro Manila could go to and buy to their heart’s content,” he explained.

He is also set to meet the farmers in Cordillera to reassure them that the market woes are being addressed.

“Now I have all the reason to pursue that long nurtured dream of a trading center which could finally allow provincial food producers to have access to the market,” the Agriculture secretary added.