PH heavily reliant on garlic imports to meet demand | Inquirer News
2022 BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY DATA CITED

PH heavily reliant on garlic imports to meet demand

/ 04:50 AM August 31, 2022
Stock photo of garlic cloves. STORY: PH heavily reliant on garlic imports to meet demand

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture assured lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Tuesday that it was working to boost local production of quality garlic, particularly in the Ilocos region.

Based on data from the Bureau of Plant Industry presented to the House committee on agriculture and food chaired by Quezon Rep. Wilfrido Enverga, the country has been heavily dependent this year on garlic imports to meet local demand.

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“We have also been looking at how to strengthen [the industry], especially the production in areas like Ilocos, because that is practically garlic country,” Kristine Evangelista, agriculture undersecretary for consumer affairs and spokesperson, told the committee.

For the first quarter of 2022, total garlic supply was 27,912 metric tons (MT) against total demand of 37,331 MT. Of the total supply, 23,141 MT were imported while only 4,971 MT were locally sourced.

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In the second quarter, total supply was 18,229 MT against total demand of 36,373 MT Of the total supply, 18,183 MT were imported while only 46 MT were locally produced.

In the third quarter, however, the total supply of 20,653 MT were all imported but still not enough to meet the total demand of 36,945 MT.

“We are not sufficient at all when it comes to garlic. We are dependent on importation … Its sufficiency is admittedly a problem we’ve been facing. Improvement in production yield and quality of our garlic is also something that we have to work on,” Evangelista said.

“Production is being addressed together with our high-value crops and we are also getting the demand requirements, not only of consumers, but also of institutional buyers [like restaurants, hotels and manufacturing companies],” she added.

For Nueva Ecija Rep. Rosanna Vergara, local garlic was far superior to imported ones, in terms of taste, quality and flavor.

“It’s a high-value crop that must be fully supported and its local production increased so we can meet our local consumption and reverse the downward trend of locally grown garlic,” she said.

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TAGS: Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, garlic imports, garlic supply
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