Benguet province growers concerned that imported produce is again displacing locally grown produce in Manila

Vegetable producers in Benguet province are concerned that, due to some abuses of the RCEP Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, imported produce is again displacing locally grown produce in Metro Manila markets.

The League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area urged the Benguet provincial board and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to review provisions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that apply to fresh vegetables. The group insisted that the RCEP ‘may be abused or used as an excuse [to explain] the proliferation of smuggled vegetables’.

Buyers from Metro Manila, particularly traders from Pasig City, have either reduced or stopped orders for broccoli and cauliflower produced in Benguet’s vegetable gardens, and have shifted to imported products sold in market trading centers in Manila, Sariaya town in Quezon province and Batangas province.


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