MANILA – Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez on Monday said the department is aiming to connect local farmers directly to consumers to ease the oversupply of agricultural goods.
“Ngayon naman gusto naman naming mapadiretso para may market ‘yung kanilang produkto dahil ang dami ho nilang oversupply. Kung hindi anuhin ay nasisira,” Lopez said in a forum.
With the producer-to-consumer market, Lopez said farmers will be assured of enough consumers for their products.
Lopez said cooperatives and local government units are tasked to facilitate the transaction between farmers and consumers.
Amid the problem in oversupply, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is still anticipating the possibility of undersupply in succeeding months due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
The El Niño has already affected farmers in Occidental Mindoro where P160-million worth of agriculture damage was reported.
In Cotabato, meanwhile, close to half a billion pesos worth of crops have been damaged due to severe hot temperatures.
“Sana hindi tumagal ‘yung El Niño. Hopefully by April tapos na kasi kapag tumagal ‘yan makakaapekto rin sa supply, magkakaubusan,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority assistant secretary Mercedita Sombilla in the same forum said the El Niño phenomenon will only have a slight impact on agricultural production. She said the early warning of PAGASA has prompted the Department of Agriculture to prepare ahead for the possibility of drought.
Lopez also said the “Build, Build, Build” program will help farmers generate more profit as it will lessen the cost of logistics for trade considering that road and bridge projects can make the transportation of goods faster and with less hassle.
“‘Yun ‘yung innovation ng ating Build, Build, Build, ‘yung logistics po bababa na ‘yung cost. Baba na ‘yung cost, bibilis pa. Maraming madudulot na multiplier ‘to,” Lopez said.
“Kaya sabay-sabay po ang repormang ito: reporma sa rice tariffication, reporma sa means of doing business. We’re working on liberalizing retail trade,” Lopez also said. (GMA News)