Department of Agriculture Supports Onion Farmers for Improved Production

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is taking proactive measures to enhance the production of quality onions in the country. In collaboration with local government units, the DA aims to raise awareness and provide training programs to support onion farmers. Assistant Secretaries Arnel de Mesa, Danny Atayde, and Genevieve Guevarra, along with Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Glenn Panganiban and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) Director Junibert De Sagun, recently conducted surprise visits to onion production areas in Bongabon and Rizal, Nueva Ecija. The purpose of these visits was to observe the ongoing harvest and discuss strategies to assist onion farmers.

The DA officials emphasized the significance of regular monitoring of onion farms to address any production challenges promptly. Asec. Guevarra stressed the importance of early reporting and monitoring of unusual events in the farms during the meeting with onion growers and members of the Provincial and Municipal Agriculture Office. She assured the farmers that the government is fully committed to supporting the industry and ensuring that farmers maximize productivity to increase their income.

The BPI, under the guidance of Director Panganiban, will provide a technical support program to onion farmers and agricultural extension workers. This program aims to equip industry stakeholders with effective tools and knowledge in managing onion production areas. In addition to the regular information campaign conducted by the Regional Crop Protection Center, the BPI will organize training programs on Integrated Pest Management, efficient use of biocontrol agents, and the judicious use of farm inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides.

Director Panganiban further stated that the BPI will assist onion growers of Nueva Ecija in obtaining a Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP) certificate. This certification will enable them to access more markets and expand their reach. Additionally, the DA has committed to establishing more storage facilities, not only for onions but also for other high-value crops. Nueva Ecija, a major onion grower in Central Luzon, has over 10,500 hectares dedicated to white bulb cultivation. Nationwide, the projected volume of onion production for 2024 exceeds 300,000 metric tons.

Assistant Secretary De Mesa, who also serves as the DA spokesperson, expressed optimism about the upcoming year’s onion production. He acknowledged that the presence of harabas or fall armyworms has had a slight impact on yield. However, the proactive efforts of the national and local governments have minimized the pest’s effect on onion production. Reports from the Provincial Agriculture Office indicate that only eight percent of the total production area was affected.

The initiatives taken by the DA, in collaboration with local government units, demonstrate a commitment to supporting onion farmers and ensuring the production of high-quality onions. By providing training programs, technical support, and access to certification, the DA aims to enhance the productivity and income of onion farmers in the country. With regular monitoring and proactive measures, the DA is poised to achieve positive production outcomes for the year and contribute to the growth and success of the onion industry.


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