Farmers from the different farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from Benguet and Ifugao recently participated in a data validation session organized by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR), through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) and High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).
The primary objective was to verify and validate critical data related to the production and marketing practices and costs incurred by farmers producing broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, potato, and tomato.
The invited participants are from the top-producing municipalities of Benguet and Ifugao. Representatives from the different municipal and provincial agriculture offices of the said provinces were also invited.
To facilitate this process, the DA-CAR employed a cost structure as a management tool. This tool aids in documenting farming practices, associated costs, and expected outputs. Additionally, it identifies areas where cost-efficiency improvements can be made.
Delving into the cost structure also highlights research opportunities, contributing valuable insights to the research and extension initiatives of the Research Division. Moreover, it provides essential data on production and marketing that can inform more focused interventions.
During the validation activity, farmers presented various expenses, which were categorized into material inputs, labor, marketing, and fixed costs. The findings underscored that factors such as the farm’s location, market destination, and yield directly influence the calculated cost structure. Notably, labor costs emerged as the most significant expenditure faced by farmers.
The data presented by the farmers reflected their current practices, which, interestingly, often involved higher quantities of inputs than recommended in the production guides or technologies developed by DA-CAR.
Furthermore, farmers cited additional expenses, including loan interest, hauling and freight charges, rent, and fuel costs. There was also a discussion about determining a more realistic disposer’s commission. The accuracy of production yield data used in calculating the cost structure was deemed in need of further validation.
To address these findings, stakeholders agreed to reconvene and collaborate on incorporating scientific studies, production recommendations, and marketing insights into the cost structure. The goal is to create an official document that can serve as a valuable reference for future planning, decision-making, and policy development, ultimately benefiting the local farming community in Benguet and Ifugao. By JBPeralta