THE Department of Agriculture (DA) called the white onion shortage an “opportunity” to forge direct links between institutional buyers and growers.
The DA said fastfood chains and restaurant owners have advised it of their volume and quality requirements to guide farmers’ planting activities.
“A series of consultations and market linkage activities have resulted in the market entry of farmer cooperatives and fastfood chains that agreed to buy directly from farmers,” the department said in a statement.
The shortage presents an “opportunity for aggressive market linkage of farmers to institutional buyers,” it said.
Farmer groups, onion growers, traders and buyers said that they are “strongly objecting” to imports of white onions to address the tight supply conditions, according to the DA.
“A cooperative composed of onion farmers from Nueva Ecija declared that they will be harvesting their off-season onion before the end of November. As such any import applications processed at this point might arrive at a time that they are harvesting,” the DA said.
The DA’s price reports put red onion prices at P105-P140 per kilogram. The price of white onion was unavailable.
According to the DA, red onions are acceptable to household consumers while institutional buyers prefer white onions. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson