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Philippines

Farmers unhappy as smuggled carrots flood Benguet markets

There seems to be fresh evidence that smuggled carrots have flooded Filipino markets, to the detriment of Benguet farmers. Benguet farmers alerted the Department of Agriculture (DA) in August about imported crops being sold at the Divisoria public market in Manila. The agency said the Bureau of Plant Industry had not issued any import permits for vegetables.

Augusta Balanoy of the Highland Vegetable Multipurpose Cooperative said a bigger volume of foreign carrots was spotted in key markets in the country this month. She added that their investigation showed that small warehouses near Divisoria had allegedly been releasing imported vegetables to the Metro Manila market whenever Benguet vegetable prices rise.

Vegetable traders in Cebu have also advised the Benguet vegetable industry that four container vans filled with carrots from China have been distributed in their markets every week, she told newsinfo.inquirer.net.

According to Balanoy, they had secured samples of the imported carrots that were shipped in boxes with markings that indicated that the produce came from China. She said they would now be writing to the Bureau of Customs to address vegetable smuggling.


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