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Farmer group warns vs. region-wide onion crisis

March 10, 2015
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala of protecting onion cartels after officials of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) warned of a looming onion crisis in Central Luzon.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala of protecting onion cartels after officials of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) warned of a looming onion crisis in Central Luzon.

An alliance of agricultural industry players warned of a looming onion crisis in Central Luzon.

In a statement released last March 8, the group said officials of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) and Nueva Ecija farmers have blamed the cartel of onion traders and importers for “overstocking” imported onions, thus forcing the price of locally produced onions to sink at “ridiculously low levels” with still very few takers.

The group said onion producers have lowered the price of white onions from P10 to P12 per kilo and P7 to P9 for red onions but still very few onion traders buy. Meanwhile, the price of onions in wet markets and supermarkets have stayed at P35 to P40 a kilo.

Agents of onion traders are said to be apprehensive about buying onions from local farmers because most of the traders’ warehouses in Manila and nearby provinces are full of imported onions.

The group said that the Bureau of Customs had confirmed that smugglers are using some ports in Mindanao to smuggle in rice and onions so onion traders in Luzon see no need to supply onions to the Visayas and Mindanao.

Reports reaching SINAG reportedly indicate that the onion traders are the same groups behind the steep rise of garlic prices last year.

SINAG said onion growers in Nueva Ecija are expected to harvest 10.2 million kilos of white onions and 75.3 million kilos of red onion this harvest season.

SINAG are encouraging eateries to serve dishes like onion soup, onion rings and picked onions to help Filipino onion growers. ###

SOURCE

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