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Philippines: Onion farmers in Nueva Ecija suffer from ‘bad timing’

A Philippines’ Department of Agriculture official has stated that -among other things- bad timing was behind the poor harvest and low profits of Nueva Ecija’s onion farmers.

Instead of planting as early as last October, the farmers planted from December to January—when the market was oversupplied with imported onions. This made it hard for them to recover their investments, said Benjamin Baltazar, DA operations officer in Central Luzon.

While onion farmers in Tarlac are enjoying the fruit of their early labor, Baltazar said their counterparts in 22 towns of Nueva Ecija were selling their produce at very low prices for immediate cash needed to finance the next planting season.

Traditionally, farmers store their produce and release them to the market just in time during the season for more profit. But, “planting onion from December to January was too late and not profitable, while the best time is still October,” the DA official said.

Central Luzon has 11,000 hectares of land planted with onion—10,000 hectares in Nueva Ecija to just 1,000 for Tarlac. Other onion-producing provinces in the country are Mindoro and Iloilo.


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