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Fresh veggies from Ifugao, Benguet go to waste amid COVID-19 threat

The threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has started to affect the livelihood of the country's farmers.

As shown in photos taken by netizen Jaren Lamhi, farmers in Tinoc, Ifugao threw away a truckload of carrots due to "oversupply" amid the enhanced community quarantine imposed on Luzon.

Meanwhile, a report by Jonathan Andal in "Saksi" also shows more than a ton of vegetables harvested from Buguias, Benguet were thrown away due to weak sales at trading posts in La Trinidad.

"Dahil sa banta ng COVID-19, kaya hindi mabenta ang lahat ng gulay na dinadala ng mga magsasaka. Ngayon, ganito ang kinalabasan, nasira, basura na," farmer Brent Mariano told GMA News.

Citing information from La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, the report said prices went up as some delivery men grew hesitant to transport vegetables to Metro Manila due to COVID-19.

He also said trucks have been encountering long lines and hang-ups at checkpoints.

Instead of letting perfectly good vegetables go to waste, farmers are asking local government units to purchase their stocks instead.

Mariano suggested that vegetables can be dispersed to those whose livelihoods have been affected due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

“Sa mga nagbibigay ng relief goods, maganda ‘yung mga gulay. Bilhin niyo na lang para ito ang ipamigay sa mga naka-quarantine na mga tao," he said.

“Masustansya na, nakatulong pa kayo sa aming mga farmers," he added.

—Margaret Claire Layug/JCB, GMA News