THE GOVERNMENT has allocated P326.97 million to support onion production this year, with the bulk of the package going to cold storage facilities, the Presidential Communications Office said in a statement.
Some P240.575 million will go towards constructing seven cold storage facilities in Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Occidental Mindoro, the Palace said.
Cold storage allows onion growers to maintain inventories in the event the crop is not sold out at the time of harvest, for release into the market as needed when the harvest is over.
The rest of the package includes P69.949 million for support services, including the provision of seed, seedlings and other inputs.
Some P3 million was allocated for irrigation network facilities and P1.9 million for extension support, education and training, it added.
Onions in the Philippines have become expensive, with retail prices peaking at P700 per kilo last month. On Tuesday, the government imposed a suggested retail price of P125 per kilogram of medium and large imported red onions for distribution in the capital region’s wet markets.
Separately, 10 farmers’ cooperatives and associations from the Mimaropa region (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) received grants amounting to P40 million under a Department of Agriculture (DA) program, benefiting 7,800 members.
Under the program, known as the Sagip Sibuyas Project, organizations can use grants of up to P5 million for working capital “to cover the cost of procuring onions directly from farmers, hauling and delivery to markets and cold storage facilities, and storage rental,” the Palace said.
It said the DA is helping these organizations bring their produce to market directly, to customers like fast food chains and other institutional buyers. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza