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Ilocos Norte farmers share tons of harvest to the needy

April 09, 2020 - Thursday 10:04 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image FREE WATERMELONS. Dennis Adriano, a watermelon farmer in Barangay Maan-anteng, Solsona, Ilocos Norte distributes more than half a ton of his harvest to residents of the town and even of neighboring areas on Tuesday (April 7, 2020). Adriano and other farmers opted to give away their produce to help those in need during the COVID-19 health crisis.

LAOAG CITY—Several farmers in the province who are large-scale producers of fruits and vegetables are giving out their harvest to local residents in need of food for free amid the extended enhanced community quarantine.

Instead of watching his produce rot from the field because of limited transport, watermelon farmer Dennis Adriano (not related to this writer) from Barangay Maan-anteng, Solsona, Ilocos Norte, opted to share his huge volume of harvest to neighbors and other Ilocanos in nearby towns and cities.

“I know it's crisis time and not everyone can afford to buy their own food. So for everyone who wants watermelon, you are free to have a share of my harvest,” he said in a radio interview.

On Monday, he visited one radio station in Laoag City and brought with him more than half a ton of watermelons for free distribution to the community.

Tomato growers in Laoag City and Sarrat town likewise delivered some of their produce to their neighboring households while some were turned over to local government units. With this, around two kilos of tomatoes were added to the packs of relief goods being distributed to the less fortunate residents.

In Dingras town, Lyndon Madrid, a grower of assorted high value crops such as eggplant, papaya and various flowering plants, is selling his produce at a very low price to make even in this challenging time.

Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay said Tuesday the province is presently 500 percent self-sufficient in terms of agricultural crops intended to be traded outside the province.

“We have a food surplus as of the moment because of limited travel. But in order to sustain our food chain, we need to fast track the purchase of summer vegetable seeds and fertilizers ready for distribution to our affected farmers,” she said.

To help farmers with their oversupply, Lagmay said the provincial government has allocated at least PHP500,000 for the purchase of their products to be distributed to the needy. “We are now consolidating our farmers and in the next distribution of relief goods, our food packs shall already include local fruits and vegetables,” she said. (PNA)