Ilocos garlic farmers seek marketsBy Riza T. Olchondra |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Garlic farmers in Ilocos Sur are seeking supply contracts with Jollibee Foods Corp. and Splash Foods Corp.
Reginald Yadao, project coordinator of the Sinait Garlic Center of the North Producers Cooperative (SGC-NPC), said Friday in a phone interview that his group had about 7 tons of garlic bulbs ready for transport.
Since garlic bulbs still have their skin on, the cooperative will send them to trader-consolidator Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC) for skinning and transport to Splash.
Splash requires peeled garlic, for which the SGC-NPC needs equipment.
Yadao said SCC would peel and ship the initial 7 metric tons of garlic bulbs to Splash Foods, which requires about 4 tons of peeled garlic per month.
Yadao said Jollibee may source as much as 8 tons per month from the cooperative, though there are no firm talks yet.
Yadao said the SGC-NPC was just waiting for assistance worth P400,000 from the Department of Labor and Employment to acquire the equipment needed for the peeled and powdered garlic.
The cooperative needs a garlic separator, peeler and slicer.
SGC-NPC has also urged the government to fund more research and development projects, specifically for garlic seeds.
“Seeds have always been our problem. We keep on using the same seeds season after season. Garlic is the only crop that has no hybrid. Even onion has hybrid seeds,” Yadao said.
The Sinait farmers will also need a program on expanding garlic production with the help of the Bureau of Agricultural Research.