Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol with (from left) Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, Undersecretary for High Value Crops Evelyn Laviña and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Officer-in-Charge Director Vivencio Mamaril pay attention as LOGNET-AC members identify issues and concerns that hamper the onion industry.

Local Onion Growers for National Economic and Trade – Agriculture Cooperative (LOGNET-AC) members met with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol on November 29, 2016 at Apacible Hall in Quezon City to address the issue on the massive importation of onions in the Philippines.

Organized by PCAF, the special meeting aimed to discuss the over-importation of onions in the country which affects the livelihood of the local onion farmers.

Israel Reguyal, LOGNET-AC chairperson said that the schedule of arrival of imports is not well-coordinated with the harvest season which resulted in oversupply and decrease in prices of the local onions.

Some of Sec. Piñol’s commitments for the development of the industry were the creation of an agency that will be called the Philippine Onion Development Authority which will cater the needs and improve the support for onion farmers, traders, and other stakeholders, and the establishment of cold storage facility in Nueva Ecija that can accommodate at least 100,000 bags of onions.

In order to deal with the issues confronting the industry, the Agriculture Secretary also recommended that the Bureau of Plant Industry should establish data on the local production of onion concerning the demand for it and develop a branding of the locally-produced onions.

Sec. Piñol also suggested that onion farmers should deal with the major supermarket chains such as Rustan’s, SM, Shopwise, Savemore and Mindanao-based NCCC Malls.

In an article posted by the SM Markets, SM group is now directly sourcing onions from the farmers of Nueva Ecija and will be available on the shelves of selected SM Supermarket, Savemore Market, and SM Hypermarket on December 9, 2016.