Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar:

‘New Zealand keen on exporting onions to Philippines’

The New Zealand government has expressed its keen interest in exporting onions to the Philippines, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). In a news statement, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said onion importation is currently suspended and has limited the entry of New Zealand onions into the country.

This was part of the discussion when New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan paid a courtesy visit to Secretary Dar this week. “According to Secretary Dar, there are measures that need to be considered in such a way that the local onion industry will not suffer,” the same DA statement read.

Last year, DA issued Department Order 11, which temporarily disallowed the use of unused sanitary phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-IC). The SPS-IC is issued by the Bureau of Plant Industry, an attached agency of the DA, that permits traders to bring in imported agricultural products.

Apart from this, the DA said Dar and Strachan also discussed programs that would help the Philippines on dairy, horticulture, cacao, and livestock specifically in conflict-affected areas like North Cotabato and Maguindanao. According¸ one such program implemented by New Zealand is the development of a quality assurance system for fresh mangoes.

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