Farmers claimed they have been competing against smuggled agricultural produce from China and other countries for many years now, although the surge in smuggled vegetables was only highlighted recently.
“Whether these smuggled carrots entered the country via technical smuggling at ports or open seas, the government must remain vigilant and decisive in stopping smuggling that affects local farmers and traders,” Rafael Mariano, chairperson emeritus of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said in a statement.
KMP pointed out that year after year, farmers and traders are urging the government to curb vegetable smuggling.
Some 47.7 percent of the total global production of carrots come from China, making it the top carrot exporter. Chinese carrots are known for their smooth and shiny skin, weigh almost one kilo per piece, have no stem, and are uniform in size.
Benguet vegetable traders said that this practice of vegetable smuggling from China has been going on since 2007.
In 2019, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized smuggled carrots and onions from China with estimated worth of P53 million. Most vegetables coming from China are sold in Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Bicol, Divisoria and Balintawak.
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