DA: Consumers prefer cheaper imported garlic over costly local supply

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — Filipino buyers now prefer imported garlic over local supply that costs more than thrice the price of the foreign produce, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Wednesday.

Based on recent market monitoring, the DA said more consumers prefer imported garlic sold at ₱80 per kilo rather than the locally produced garlic sold at ₱300 per kilo.

“With the rising demand for garlic in the household and various industries, consumers continue to prefer to buy the imported variety over the local produce,” the DA said in a statement.

“The wide price deficit has forced buyers to shop for the variety sourced from other garlic-producing countries,” it added.

According to the DA, buyers said practicality leads them to buy the cheap, big bulbs over the small, native ones even if the local supply has stronger aroma and flavor.

Dun po tayo sa nakakatipid, kung ano po ‘yung mura, dun po tayo,” the DA quoted a consumer.

[Translation: We go with where we can save money, the cheaper choice.]

The DA added vegetable vendors have also observed the current trend, citing the large gap between prices.

The department also noted that local stock has significantly shrunk as last year’s supply was “almost used up” by the series of holidays last December.

Ilocos Norte and Sur remain as the country’s top producers of garlic with a combined 1,315.70 hectares (ha) of production area during the last quarter of 2022, the DA said.

Garlic sold in January 2023 was sourced from the last harvest for 2022, set early November.

The first harvest for 2023 will be sourced from Ilocos in February with a projected volume of 21 metric tons (MT). A total of 3,947 MT will be available to consumers by April, sourced from the 22 garlic-producing towns of the Ilocos Region.

In 2021, total production of garlic nationwide reached 5,890.14 MT harvested from 2,424.51 ha production area. Total demand was 139,509 MT, while annual per capita consumption was 1.26 kilogram.