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OccMin conducts stakeholders consultation meeting, preps for the bulk of onion production

SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO (PIA) – To prepare for the bulk harvest of onion in the province, the Provincial Government Office (PGO) of Occidental Mindoro, in partnership with the local government units and the Department of Agriculture (DA) National and Regional Offices, conducted an onion stakeholders consultation meeting recently, held at the PGO sub office in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

According to Municipal Agriculturist Romel Calingasan, one of the concerns addressed during the meeting was the spike of onion prices in the market last year, while its farmgate price at that time was low.

“Ayaw na ng government, partikular na ng DA, na maulit ‘yung sitwasyon noong nakaraang taon na ang presyo ng sibuyas ay bababa ng sobra farmgate kung saan malulugi si farmer…[at kapag] wala ng harvest, at nasa mga storage facility na nanggagaling [ang sibuyas], sobrang taas na ng presyo. Ibig sabihin, hindi na farmers ang nakikinabang sa mataas na presyo, kundi ang mga traders.”

(The government, particularly the DA, does not want last year’s situation to happen again where onion farmgate prices were low which causes financial loss for the farmers…then after the harvest season, all the onions supplied to the market were coming from storage facilities and were expensive. This means that the traders were the ones making huge profits, not the farmers.)

One of the solutions proposed during the meeting is the Big Brother, Small Brother partnership. Mr. Rustom Gonzaga, F2C2 Report Officer explained that their office is working on a pilot group for the partnership, where individual farmers and associations tie up with larger cooperatives as their institutional buyer. Through this strategy, farmers will be able to directly market their produce to big buyers, avoiding middlemen or traders especially when onion prices are low.

San Jose Municipal Agriculturist Romel Calingasan

On the issue of hoarding and smuggling, Calingasan confirmed that there were no cases of hoarding and smuggling in the province. This issue was looked into by DA’s Assistant Secretary James Layug, who  personally joined the meeting.

Onion harvest in the province started in the last week of February and is expected to last until the last week of April. Prevailing farmgate prices currently ranges from Php 48.00 to 50.00. There are two (2) private-owned operational cold storages in the province, and the DA-grant onion storage facility in Mamburao and Magsaysay will soon be available.

Mr. Randy Pernia, DA MIMAROPA Agri Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) OIC Chief, Mindoro Agri Produce’s Trading President Dr. Joselito Cariño, along with other farmers also attended the dialogue. Governor Eduardo Gadiano and San Jose Mayor Rey C. Ladaga were also present. (DSG/PIA MIMAROPA).

About the Author

Dianne Francis Sy-Gorembalem

Information Officer

Region 4B

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