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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Atok, Benguet Mayor confident vegetable production and prices won't be affected by ‘frost’

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Benguet, Philippines - As ‘frost’ began hitting Atok, Benguet this month, Mayor Raymundo Sarac assured that vegetable production and cost will not be affected since farmers have found a strategy to deal with the frosting.

Frosting happens because of the sudden drop of temperature to 10 degrees Celsius or lower, which eventually results in crop damages in this vegetable-producing village.

Since ‘frost had been (occurring) during the cold weather for decades already,’ Sarac is confident that the farmers now know how to counter its effect and prevent crop damages.

Sarac, through the Philippine News Agency, said that as a strategy, the farmers adjusted the planting of their vegetables to harvest them in November, avoiding the frosting that usually takes place from December to February.

The mayor added that this December, the farmers have planted more resilient vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and radish.

Another strategy to prevent the dying of plants, Sarac explained, is that when frosting occurs, farmers turn on the water sprinklers at dawn for the ice to melt before the heat of the sun shines on the plants. This will avoid damage to plant tissues.

The mayor of Atok clarified that the frost will not affect the prices of vegetables since it only happens to “a very small portion of a garden, less than a half hectare, and the vegetables are not completely damaged.”

"If it is the whole Benguet that is affected by frost, then we can say the supply is affected, which will also affect the prices. As I have said, it is not even one-half jeep load of vegetables if they are even affected," Sarac affirmed.

As of Friday, December 10, the Municipal Agriculture Office has not yet received any report of damage due to frost.

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