The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that they recorded a loss of 100,000 metric tons of onions in 2022, even as Filipinos began grappling with skyrocketing prices of the staple good last year.
The DA noted a 35 percent loss after the harvest period, which they attributed to a lack of cold storage facilities and improper handling.
A total of 283,172 metric tons of red and yellow onions and shallots were harvested from the 29,728-hectare production area, with a monthly requirement of 21,679 metric tons, the agriculture department said.
The DA attributed the changes in the price and supply of onions to factors such as the increase in the price of production inputs, including fertilizers and seed; low level of mechanization and high labor cost; expensive marketing and distribution scheme; limited access to credit facilities; and inconsistencies in information.
To address issues in the onion industry, including the increase in production and income of onion producers, the agriculture bureau announced it was set to launch the Optimization and Resiliency in the Onion Industry Network (ORION) Program.
ORION seeks to promote a competitive, resilient, and profitable onion industry to create a sustainable supply of onions that meets domestic demand. Among ORION’s planned programs include providing easy access credit loans for the purchase of equipment and establishment of facilities. Farmer clusters and associations will also be organized for production and market integration. Innovative farming technologies will also be introduced as well as value-adding processes to maximize production and income.
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