LAOAG CITY – The first order of garlic from Metro Manila has been placed at 20,000 kilograms, an officer of the Provincial Special Project for Development Office (SPDO) here disclosed recently.
Carino said that this was the result of the garlic buyback scheme launched by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) last May 2015, wherein the provincial government began buying garlic produce from local growers and selling them on the national market in line with its flagship program “Paspas Dur-as Biag ti Away!” (rapid development for rural areas).
He said the Ilocos Norte produce was chosen for its sharper scent compared to that of other provinces’ crops and the only task left to do now is to clean and package bawang to meet Metro Manila standards.
Garlic is considered the “white gold” of the North with Ilocos Norte as a champion garlic supplier at 69% at the national level.
Last year, the PGIN through the Provincial Agricultural Office (PAO), with the assistance of scientists coming from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), conducted the cultivation of better crops using tissue culture, with the municipality of Burgos as a prime location for planting garlic.
Carino expressed his hopes that this development would pave the way to improve Ilocano farmers’ welfare and livelihood while giving a significant boost to the agricultural sector and sustainable growth of the province.
In her latest State of the Province Address (SOPA), Governor Imee Marcos said: “Itaguyod ang produktong sinauna—gulay, lasuna, higit sa lahat: bawang. National demand for garlic is at an all- time high, but over 90% is imported. Dapat dagdagan ang tanim na 6% dito sa ating probinsia.” — (With report by Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO