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DAR seeks more markets for squash farmers


Nueva Ecija squash farmers preparing to transport their produce.

CABANATUAN CITY – “Help us flatten the curveplease!

So appealed Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Emily Padilla in the agencys efforts to seek more market linkages to help famers sell the mountains of squashout produced by different Nueva Ecija towns.

Padiila on Saturday said they have sold over 36 tons at P7.50 to P10 a kilo out of the 390 tons of squash from Zaragoza and Licab, Nueva Ecija being consolidated by the DAR “to help the distressed agrarian reform beneficiaries.” 

Piles of squash waiting for buyers. Photos courtesy of DAR Usec Emily Padilla

That is apart from the five tons more from Gen. Natividad, whose Mayor Anita Arocena has also sought the assistance of DAR-Nueva Ecija, Padilla added.

Initially, DAR has been able to sell 1.7 tons to Mr. Gulay, 8.7 tons through Rural Rising, 5 tons to Dizon Farms, and 280 tons purchased by the LGU of Zaragoza.

“Please help us. Let us not allow the squash to rot there,” she appealed.

Gov. Aurelio Umali has offered the trucks owned by the provincial food council for free use in transporting their produce after giving away food packs to 250 farmers in Zaragoza town recently, according to Fr. Arnold Abelardo, spokesperson of Nueva Ecija’s inter-agency task force Covid-19.

Abelardo’s group, Ang Saklay, brought pancit and fried chicken for workers harvesting squash that time.

Squash farmers from the municipalities of Aliaga and Zaragoza have found a huge market in Cabanatuan City with Mayor Myca Elizabeth Vergara buying tonsof their produce.

These were added to the food packs being distributed by 3rd District Rep. Rosanna Vergara for her family’s Kalinga Para sa Distrito. Each pack also included 10 kg of rice, two kilos of dressed chicken in a pail, and estampita of Oratio Emperata for Covid-19.


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