ONION COLD STORAGE FACILITY. Agriculture and local officials lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an additional onion cold storage facility in Nueva Ecija province on Thursday (March 16, 2023). The soon-to-be-completed facility which can hold up to 20,000 bags of onion will be turned over to the San Vicente Alintutuan Irrigators Association in Laur town. (Photo courtesy of DA Region 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Another onion cold storage facility that farmers could use to prolong the shelf life of their produce will be put up in Nueva Ecija province.

Agriculture and local officials led on Thursday the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the facility that can hold up to 20,000 bags of onion in Barangay San Vicente, Laur town.

The project which will benefit members of the San Vicente Alintutuan Irrigators Association is under the High-Value Crop Development Program of the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the provincial government of Nueva Ecija.

This is the second onion cold storage facility that broke ground in the province this week. The first one is located in Cuyapo town and will benefit members of the Calancuasan Sur Farmers Association.

Bernie Valdez, chief of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said the construction of the onion cold storage is in response to the call of the farmers who are often forced to sell their produce even at a low price due to a lack of post-harvest facility.

“Alam naman natin na ang isyu sa sibuyas ay maraming cold storage ang mai-put up sa lalawigan para yun mga farmers ay may pagdadalhan ng kanilang mga ani. Yun ang mga hinaing ng mga magsasaka noon na kulang na kulang ang mga cold storage sa Nueva Ecija at maraming sibuyas ang inaani sa lalawigan. At ang pamahalang panlalawigan ay hindi tumitigil para suportahan ang mga ganitong program ng Department of Agriculture (We know that the issue on onion is the need to have more cold storage facilities in the province where farmers can bring their produce. And that is the one of the complaints of the farmers before, that there was lack of cold storage in Nueva Ecija and there are lots of onions being harvested in the province. And the provincial government does not stop in supporting this kind of program by the Department of Agriculture),” Valdez said in a radio interview.

DA-Central Luzon Regional Executive Director Crispulo Bautista Jr. earlier assured that their agency would continue to build onion cold storage facilities to address post-harvest losses.

Cold storage is seen to prolong the shelf life of onions by up to seven months and will prevent crops from rotting early. (PNA)