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Press Release - Amid high ginger prices, Tolentino presses need to increase supply, improve post-harvest facilities

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has acknowledged that the high prices of ginger in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces is caused by rising demand for the commodity from manufacturers, coupled by low supply due to slower importation.

These were the reasons cited by DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa when asked by Senate Majority Leader Francis 'Tol' Tolentino on his program 'Usapang Tol' about the factors pushing up the prices of ginger.

De Mesa, who is also DA spokesperson, explained how importation, which is necessary to complement domestic production of ginger, has steadily gone down to 400 metric tons so far this year, from about 5,000 metric tons back in 2021. He added that the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) is currently investigating why imports are going down.

Tolentino and De Mesa agreed that increasing ginger production and supply, and improving post-harvest facilities, such as storage and refrigeration systems, should be prioritized to meet growing demand.

Currently, ginger farm gate prices range from P120 to P150, while the prevailing market price is between P250 to P260.

Tolentino first called the attention of the DA when it was reported that ginger prices in some public markets have reached as much as P320 per kilo.

Finally, the senator acknowledged that the growing popularity of ginger-based products, such as turmeric tea, has contributed to the high demand for the agricultural commodity.

"This is a good sign that our countrymen are getting health conscious, as proven by the high demand for this type of beverage. There are medicinal claims that ginger indeed can help improve our health," Tolentino remarked.