The municipality of Talakag in Bukidnon, just 50 minutes south of Cagayan de Oro will start shipping between 40 to 60 tons of high value vegetables to Metro Manila weekly starting this month at lower prices than those coming from Northern Luzon. This was disclosed by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol in his official Facebook page after his recent visit to Talakag.
The vegetable products from Talakag which include large carrots, white potato, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and others could drastically bring down the prices of vegetables in Metro Manila markets.
Meanwhile, the four towns of Talakag, Lantapan, Impasugong and Sumilao will have access to a P150-million in easy access credit under the Department of Agriculture’s Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), enough to develop 3,000-hectares of farms to produce high-value vegetables. Accordingly, the development of an estimated 50,000-hectares of farms in the four towns is part of the strategic vegetable production program of the DA to ensure sustained supply of vegetables in the market, especially Metro Manila, during the rainy and typhoon season in Luzon.
Secretary Piñol is scheduled to be back in Talakag today to turn over an initial P20-M loan to the Talakag Vegetable Farmers Association who will use it to buy its members’ produce which will be shipped to Metro Manila and other big cities like Cebu. Also set to be turned over to the farmers are four farm tractors, 15 work animals, seeds and other farm inputs; one thousand (1,000) plastic crates to replace their traditional packing system which uses cartons and used sacks; and two (2) refrigerated containers to be used in transporting the vegetables to Metro Manila.
To support the initiative, a Vegetable Trading and Packing Center will be opened in a 1-hectare area owned by the Talakag Local Government Unit.
The PLEA, which charges a 6% interest on a No-Collateral Production using rural banks and credit organizations as conduits, has released about P1-B in production loans since it was launched last June 23, 2017.