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Cebu farmer gives away 15,000 kilos of tomatoes after El Niño affected their sizes

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 22, 2024 5:18 pm

A farmer in Cebu City is giving away an estimated 15,000 kilos of tomatoes after the ill impacts of El Niño affected their sizes.

According to multiple reports, Emelio Secretaria, who owns at least four hectares of a farm in Barangay Sudlon 2, said the tomatoes were too small to pass buyers’ standards. They’re similar to cherry tomatoes.

Secretaria told ABS-CBN News they don’t have enough water to pour anymore, preventing them from marketing the tomatoes.

Secretaria told The Freeman that of over P800,000 expenses, only P300,000 were returned. This translates to a P500,000 loss.

He isn’t selling the tomatoes, as doing so would incur more losses due to hiring additional people to harvest and sell them.

He has opened his farm to those who want to get their share.

Secretaria on April 22 went live on Facebook, showing members of the local media checking out the tomatoes.

Cebu City Councilor Jun Alcover, who heads the city’s agriculture committee, took few hundred kilos for distribution in the city hall. He shared photos of the recipients on Facebook.

El Niño is a phenomenon in which there’s an unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It affects ocean temperatures, the strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and the weather.

State weather bureau PAGASA said it would likely persist until the second quarter of 2024.

In its forecast, PAGASA said Cebu’s heat index will reach 37C to 39C in the coming days.