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DA now undertaking initiatives to protect, resurrect PH onion industry – Piñol

Dec 2, 2016 @ 17:55

Various initiatives to protect the country’s onion industry are now being undertaken, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Thursday, December 1.

This includes a provision in the Food Safety Act of 2013 that requires DA inspection of all agricultural imports.

Piñol said this will ensure that local farmers are protected from illegal importations that had made the agriculture sector weaker under previous administrations.

“What we want to do is to make you (onion farmers) more competitive so you can produce more even at current operating costs so you can earn more,” he noted.

Piñol said the DA is also monitoring the operation of unscrupulous traders who dump excess onion imports into the local market during harvest time to drive the onion farming sector to bankruptcy so they could just make money from imports.

He added the government is ready to provide financing for the onion farmers so they can supply the supermarket and restaurant chains on credit.

The agriculture chief said it will assist local onion farmers become more competitive by helping them adopt new farming technologies and techniques to lower production costs and increase farm yields.

He cited an offer of VietGrow, one of Vietnam’s biggest vegetable seeds producer and fertilizer manufacturer, to set up demonstration farms in North Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Mindoro.

Moreover, Piñol said the DA will provide all the post-harvest facilities that local onion farmers need to reduce wastage in their farm yields, including the construction of cold storage facilities in the onion belt in Central and Northern Luzon and in Mindanao for onion bulbs for planting and produce for longer storage.

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