MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has imported 21,000 metric tons (MT) of onions to meet the increased demand during this holiday season.
In a news release on Monday, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) said the Department of Agriculture (DA) imported 17,000 MT red onions and 4,000 MT yellow onions from China, India and Netherlands.
The BPI said the total volume of onions is based on the consumption of every Filipino.
The imported onions, which are expected to arrive this month, will serve as buffer stock to stabilize the price as harvest peaks from March to April 2024.
Currently, red onions are priced at PHP140 to PHP180 per kilo.
The BPI expects prices to go down with the arrival of the imported onions.
Earlier, the DA launched the Onion Expansion Program in Tupi, South Cotabato as a strategic response to the elevated commodity prices witnessed in Luzon last year.
It was initiated by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in collaboration with Mindanao onion growers to fortify production and uplift the livelihood of onion farmers.
DA Assistant Secretary James Layug said the program is committed to combat agricultural smuggling, a menace that has adversely impacted the local onion industry.
Layug also underscored its objective of promoting local onion production to eliminate dependency on imports and foster self-sufficiency and potentially transforming South Cotabato into an onion exporting hub. (PNA)