February 25, 2024

Helping onion farmers key to sufficient supply , says Marcos

The government is carrying out a program aimed at helping onion farmers increase their yield to stabilize the supply and bring down the commodity’s price, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday.

“We’ll do this by increasing the area that is being planted to onions, number one,” President Marcos said following a sectoral meeting in Malacañang.

“And secondly, we will help by – the DA (Department of Agriculture) will help by providing inputs. So the first part of that is we are going to the seed producers so that they will produce good seed that we can give to the farmers at some point. Iyon ang kanilang gamitin as inputs. And all that what they need,” the President said.

The DA has deferred the extension of the P250 suggested retail price (SRP) due to the forecasted lower price range of onions following the harvest season.

According to the DA, onion prices may decrease to P100 to P150 per kilo with the entry of more than 5,000 metric tons (MT) of imported onions.

During the Malacañang meeting, the President raised the issue of the lack of cold chain facilities that affects onion supply and prices, as he stressed the industry’s need for more of those facilities.

“We need more cold storage, we need a better, stronger cold chain para ma-maintain naman natin, ma-preserve naman natin ‘yung agricultural products,” Marcos pointed out.

“So iyon ang mga plano, ‘yun ang mga ginawa namin para [sa] mga immediate needs doon sa ating mga nagtataasan na presyo ng agricultural products,” the chief executive added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that onion production in the third quarter of last year was recorded at 23.30 MT, 1.7 percent higher than the 22.92 MT output in the same quarter of 2021.

Also, the DA’s 2022 supply and demand outlook data indicated that the country has a 120 percent sufficiency level with 312,830 MT of onions. Per capita consumption for onion is at 2.341 kg/year per the PSA, with an estimated demand of 21,000 MT per month.

As of December 15 last year, the total stock inventory of locally produced red onions in cold storage nationwide is at 2,209.45 MT. There were no stocks of yellow onions and imported red onions in cold storage facilities.

To provide more affordable onions, KADIWA stores offered native red and white onions for P170 a kilo, with each customer being allowed to buy a maximum of three kilos.

The DA, on January 10, announced the importation of about 22,000 MT of onions to address high prices and supply shortage.