The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted P94.6 million to develop and prop up the onion production nationwide.
In a statement released on March 4, the department said it would use the fund to procure planting materials of red and yellow onion varieties, including organic and inorganic fertilizers. These materials will be distributed to onion-growing provinces.
DA Sec. William Dar said the initiative under the agency’s High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) started after he consulted with farmer-leaders from Nueve Ecija and Mindoro.
“The major concerns raised by the farmer-leaders are the decreasing prices of local onions due to the continued influx of imported ones, which are sold cheaper. Farmgate price of onions dipped by P6 per kilo in 2021,” Dar said, adding that they also asked DA to assist them in marketing their products and establishing storage facilities.
He explained that the agency has been addressing the issue of space and storage since 2018 and finished the construction of three warehouses since then, valued at P20 million each.
The agency said that the country’s onion production declined by 11,000 metric tons (MT) last year, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) data.
“We need to prop up further production, not only for onions and other high-value crops, but for the entire agriculture sector, and we need additional budget to do that, “ Dar said.