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CLSU 2000-06: Socio-Economics of Peri-Urban Vegetable Production

marketing channels, margins and costs; and quantified the connection between Metro Manila market and the production sites in Nueva Ecija. Vegetable production in San Leonardo proved to be profitable as indicated by high net returns and return on total expenses. Much still need to be done however, to improve the productivity and profitability of pak-choi and mustard. The introduction of high yielding, low cost, environment-friendly, and resource sustainable technologies from AVRDC are thus relevant and much desired. Introduction must be complemented by means to intensify information dissemination about new technologies in order to augment interest among clienteles. Vegetable growers in San Leonardo were well aware of the kinds of pests that attack their crops. They rely heavily on chemicals to control pests; consequently the rate and frequency of pesticide use in vegetables are indeed major concerns. Awareness on natural enemies was low, therefore their importance to the vegetable ecosystem is usually not grasped. Little knowledge of predators coupled with relatively unsafe pesticide handling, storage and use practices and short re-entry intervals, suggest that farmers and household members are at risk from chemical poisoning, not to mention the ill effects from pesticide laden vegetables consumed by the buying public. Farmer participatory research on IPM needs to improve farmer knowledge of pests, the damage pests causes, threshold levels, natural enemies, and pesticide practices. The farmers should be made to understand the reasons for doing IPM, and that IPM requires greater understanding, time and effort than standard practices. The control measures must be simple, and relevant information must be provided to build on what farmers already know. Then farmers can make informed decisions about pest management strategies. Promising results generated by the project on use of organic fertilizer and net barriers can be integrated in the pursuit of IPM to lessen farmer dependence on chemical inputs as well as limit pest incidence. It was apparent that the pattern of dietary and nutritional intake of households in Nueva Ecija were sensitive to production and supply situation as well as to price and income changes. The overall price elasticity of vegetables (-0.553) was lower than the average income elasticity of 0.775, and indicates more scope for increasing vegetable consumption by increasing income through enhanced productivity and profitability. Demand generated through increased income should be matched with increased supply so as not to add pressure on prices. From among individual vegetables, it was only the leafies which have a price elasticity (.969) higher than income elasticity (.738). Price seasonality was high at 84%. In such a case, lower prices through increased supplies of leafy vegetables by using cost-reducing or productivity enhancing technologies can play a strong role in increasing vegetable consumption. The seasonal trends in price in Nueva Ecija (average of 1994-98) showed that seasonality (defined as the difference in the highest and lowest monthly prices expressed in terms of percentage of the lowest price) in all vegetables was higher at the farm (209%) than at the retail level (159%). In Metro Manila, price seasonality was observed in the prices of tomato, eggplant, bitter gourd, onion, and pak-choi. Vegetable prices were normally highest in the 4th quarter and lowest during the 1st quarter. Seasonal fluctuations in prices were generally caused by climatic conditions and seasonal demand for vegetables. The seasonality in availability and price is quite high, even at the aggregate level for all vegetables where seasonality of one vegetable is expected to counterbalance the seasonality of others. With this situation at hand, the peri-urban project should intensely pursue its activities aimed at increasing overall production, extend production in the offseason, to stabilize productivity and smooth out seasonal fluctuations in vegetable supply.

Central Luzon State University
Authors Keywords
Ali, Mubarik; Antalan, Rodolfo Jr., V.; Gregorio, Lito G.; Pineda, Myra P.; Porciuncula, Fe L.; peri-urban vegetable production;
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