As there will be a higher production of onion this year, Regional Director Crispulo Bautista of the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Central Luzon has stated they are now looking for more alternative areas in Moncada town, Tarlac to complement the onion production in Nueva Ecija province.
Central Luzon has 11,000 hectares of land planted with onions. Of the total, 9,000 hectares are in Nueva Ecija, contributing 50 to 60 percent of the entire onion production in the country. Tarlac has 2,000 hectares devoted to onions. Other onion-producing areas in the country are Mindoro, Iloilo, and the Ilocos region, which produces the native onion variety.
Central Luzon region produces an average of 10 to 15 tons of onion per hectare during the harvest season. And to help with storage needs, the DA recently lead initial groundwork on a P190-million cold storage facility, which is set to be constructed in Barangay Caballero, Palayan City.
In the past, farmers are often forced to market their produce at a low price due to the lack of storage facilities. But with the construction of the cold storage facility, the DA hopes to enable farmers to store their produce in safe custody and obtain a good price in later sales.
The construction will be closely monitored by the PRDP I-Build Component supervised by Rural Infrastructure Engineer Bon Alexis Guatato and expected to be operational by 2020 with an initial 120,000 bags capacity.
Bautista said that they are now looking at other measures to the problem of recurring armyworm infestation, particularly in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija through effective pest control measures and pest resistant onion varieties.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that in April to June 2018, production of the bermuda onion decreased by 14.8 percent from 44,620 tons in the same quarter of 2017 to 38,020 tons in 2018 due to armyworm infestations.