By Philippine News Agency
Ilocos Norte’s garlic farmers have been encouraged to increase their production efficiency by at least eight tons per hectare to meet the high demand for the crop, which according to national statistics stands at 128,000 metric tons per year.
In the Garlic Summit held at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena here Wednesday, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña told farmers the government has been implementing a number of interventions to support garlic producers.
According to Laviña, the average production of garlic in the country is at 2.5 tons to 3 tons per hectare, compared to 8 tons per hectare in other countries.
Thus, to improve their productivity, the DA, in collaboration with public and private institutions, is providing a financing scheme for farmers that will teach them to become responsible borrowers.
“We are getting a lot of help from various sectors to improve our garlic industry, so it is now up to our farmers to respond to the challenge,” said Laviña, who represented Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in the Garlic Summit.
Attended by less than a thousand farmers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan, the summit, with the theme, ”Crafting the Five-Year Roadmap for the Philippine Garlic Industry Development”, aims to revitalize the garlic industry and encourage farmers to plant more.
The DA is spearheading the conduct of garlic field trials in all regions, using research innovations and modern technologies to improve production.