Tons of rotten tomatoes end up as animal feed, landfill in Laguna
SAN PEDRO CITY – An oversupply of tomatoes drove local farmers to discard more than ten tons of tomatoes that have begun to rot in Kalayaan town in Laguna province.
The wastage prompted the provincial agriculture office to come up with measures like training vegetable growers on proper supply forecast.
Unfortunately, the rejected tomatoes were of a different variety from those that could be processed into tomato paste or sauce.
“They can’t be (sold anymore) as they have already started to rot. We’ll have to dispose of them in a sanitary landfill or as animal feed,” said Laguna agriculturist Marlon Tobias on Tuesday.
Tobias said a community of about 40 tomato growers from Barangay San Antonio sought them out after traders from Manila refused to buy the tomatoes harvested last week.
“The supply doesn’t just come from Laguna. Some from Mindoro, Pangasinan, even Mindanao,” Tobias said.
“We’ve been telling them (growers): ‘don’t plant the same vegetable all at the same time (to avoid an oversupply),’” he added.
During the previous harvest, traders offered to buy a box (21 kilos) of tomatoes for P500. The recent oversupply forced the price down to only P100 per box until traders had to refuse the excesses.
Tomato production costs around P200,000 per hectare. About 40 to 50 hectares of land are planted to tomatoes in the town.
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