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Lowland vegetable shortage expected in 2021

A SUPPLY shortfall is being projected in 2021 for lowland vegetables such as ampalaya (bitter gourd), eggplant, and squash, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

At a virtual briefing Tuesday, DA High-Value Crops Program Director U-Nichols A. Manalo said the supply-demand gap in lowland vegetables is estimated at 378,064.51 metric tons (MT).

He said the projected net supply of lowland vegetables is 1.27 million MT, sufficient to meet 80% of domestic demand.

“However, even if we have a projected supply deficit of lowland vegetables based on the data, people in the provinces have access to other vegetables,” Mr. Manalo said.   

Mr. Manalo said upland vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, white potato, and pechay (Chinese cabbage) are projected to be in surplus by 360,315.81 MT.

He said the net supply of upland vegetables for 2021 is projected at 815,632.95 MT, equivalent to 193% self-sufficiency.

“Regions such as the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan Valley, and Northern Mindanao have high production of upland vegetables,” Mr. Manalo said.

Mr. Manalo said there will be an onion surplus, with net supply projected at 264,248 MT, equivalent to a self-sufficiency level of 103%.

Garlic will remain mostly imported, he said. “The country is only at a 4% sufficiency level when it comes to garlic, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.  

“Our supply projections assume that we do not have consecutive typhoons entering the country in the later part of 2021,” Mr. Manalo said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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