MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said it allocated over PHP300 million in aid to boost the onion industry.
In a statement, the DA said of the total amount, the highest allocation is set for the establishment of cold storage facilities.
"Consistent with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to boost local food production, the DA, through its High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), has allotted P326.97 million worth of interventions for onion this 2023," it said.
"Seven onion cold storage facilities amounting to PHP240.575 million will also be established this year in key production areas," it added.
For a 20,000-bag capacity, five cold storage facilities shall be built in Hermosa, Bataan; Talavera and Bongabon in Nueva Ecija; as well as in Rizal and Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro.
Two cold storage facilities with lower capacity shall also be built in areas in Pangasinan and Nueva Vizcaya.
"These cold storage facilities, with up to 10,000-bag capacity, will benefit the Pangasinan Onion Growers Association in Umingan, Pangasinan, and the Federation of Aritao Farmers Onion, Garlic and Ginger Association in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya," the DA said.
Besides these, the DA also allocated PHP69.949 million for the distribution of seedlings and other farm inputs.
A portion of the total aid shall be also used for improving irrigation network facilities; education and training; distribution of machinery and equipment for production; as well as post-harvest machinery.
Sagip Sibuyas Project
Meanwhile, over 7,800 members of farmers' cooperatives and associations in the Mimaropa region have received millions in aid through the Sagip Sibuyas project.
"A total of ten farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region received a financial grant totaling PHP40 million through the DA Enhanced Kadiwa: Sagip Sibuyas Project," the DA said.
Eligible FCAs may use up to PHP5 million in trading capital grant for the direct purchase of onion supplies to farmers, as well as deliveries to market and storage facilities. (PNA)