Almost 10 tons of tomatoes were thrown away by the farmers of Kalayaan, Laguna because it could not be sold in the markets anymore.
The farmers of Kalayaan suffered from the oversupply of tomatoes, thus, prompting them to just throw the unsellable produce.
This incident costs the farmers to lose an amount of almost PHP 4 million, according to Marlon Tobias of the Laguna Provincial Agriculture Office.
“Ngayon lang po ‘yan nangyari. Last year, talagang kumita kami last year. Eh ngayon po talagang nakakaiyak ngayon ang presyo, bagsak na bagsak,” said Jason Enoza, one of the tomato farmers.
The tomatoes from Kalayaan are being delivered and sold to Divisoria and Balintawak, but recently, the tomatoes, especially the small-sized ones, were being sent back to the farmers because the vendors deemed it as unsellable.
The farmers said that the markets only want the medium-sized and the good-sized tomatoes.
According to the Laguna Provincial Office, the farm gate prices of the medium-sized and good-sized tomatoes are also down to PHP2.50 per kilo and PHP5.00 per kilo respectively.
Experts think the problem of oversupply in the Kalayaan farmers’ produce might be caused by the sending of other towns their own supplies of produce to Metro Manila.
“Dapat nakontrol. Baka naman ipinarating lahat ng supply, iyon, kawawa naman ang mga magsasaka ng Laguna, ang laki ng lugi,” said Tobias.
But the confusing thing is that the price per kilo of the tomatoes in the market are still high despite its oversupply. The authorities are planning to do an investigation on why this incident happened.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), there were no tomatoes that came from places in Mindanao.
The DA also promised to help the farmers of Laguna that are affected.
Many netizens reacted to this issue saying that it is just a waste that the farmers’ only way of dealing the problem was to throw the tomatoes away.
One netizen said:
“You can make this into tomato ketchup or salsa. The farmers should have education of reusing unsold goods.”
Though this is a decent suggestion, one should consider that the farmers do not have the resources to reuse their produces.
Some were confused on why the farmers have to throw the tomatoes away. Some netizens explained that either way, the farmers would still lose money in the end because they have to pay for the delivery, the retailers, and the other people involved in the selling. If the rate of the tomatoes is at an all time low, the farmers will still lose a huge amount.