Seven Pesos for a Kilo of Cabbage: Ifugao Farmers Are Struggling to Sell Their Crop
There's no answer as to why prices have gone so low.
(SPOT.ph) Vegetables are expensive. Here in Metro Manila, buying a kilo of cabbage at the supermarket could cost you up to P106, based on the latest survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority—and don't even get us started on the luxury known as broccoli. But in the mountains of the Ifugao province, farmers are left with no choice but to sell their crop for as low as P7 a kilo; possibly even lower.
A post on the Ifugao Highland Farmers' Forum Facebook page shows Hindac Bugtong, a farmer from the Kalanguya indigenous group, harvesting his crop of cabbage. This is Bugtong's second harvest; the first crop of cabbages sold for only P7 a kilo at the wholesale market.
Bugtong's farm is in Tinoc, Ifugao, and is located between two trading posts: La Trinidad in Benguet and the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal, Inc. He's betting on the La Trinidad one as premium vegetables are usually sold at a better price, as told to SPOT.ph by the forum's admin.
A quick look at the wholesale price list at the Nueva Vizcaya trading post shows first-class cabbages selling for around P4 to P6 a kilo, the prized brocolli at P13 to P16, while wombok (a.k.a. chinese cabbage) ranges from P4 to P5. The most expensive produce on the list are Hawaiian ginger going as high as P75 per kilo.
Another post from the forum recently went viral after showing pictures of unbought harvest being fed to livestock. Nobody's sure why crops are not being sold or if bought, then at very low prices, but the comments show that people are wondering why they're priced so high once they reach the Metro.
At the end of the day, it's the farmers of Ifugao—who are sandwiched between other vegetable farms like Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya, that bear the brunt of this process. Fingers crossed that answers and fairer pricing, come soon!
Main image used with permission from Hindac Bugtong and the Ifugao Highland Farmers' Forum