Early harvest to bring down sugar prices

The Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes the early harvest of sugar, onions and other food crops will help offset their declining supply and soaring market prices.

In an interview, Usec. for Consumer Affairs and DA spokesperson Kristine Evangelista said local sugarcane planters harvested their produce early and will start the milling process this August.

Evangelista pointed out the early harvesting period will help address the increasing demand for low-priced sugar.

As of 12 August, refined sugar cost P100 per kilogram in Metro Manila markets. Washed and brown sugar sold for P75 and P70 per kilogram, respectively.

The DA affirmed it would continuously monitor the prices of agricultural commodities in local markets.

Meanwhile, rumors on declining onion supply have been circulated among the general public.

However, Evangelista said that while the price of white and red onions have increased, rumors of low onion supply can’t be confirmed.

“Our onion growers need to help us out by identifying where to strategically sell their goods so we can also help them identify the proper pricing for their goods,” she added.

Evangelista also confirmed the DA could not recommend the importation of onions unless it is sure about the supply situation.

She said farmgate prices for poultry and pork have gone down.

“We can expect that retail prices will go down, especially as our industry partners—the traders and retailers—gave their commitment on the matter during our consultation meeting,” she added.

Retail prices per kilogram as of 12 August were P330 for pork ham (kasim); P340, pork liempo; and P180; whole dressed chicken.

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