The onion and potato agri-food chain committee approved the import of 9,000 quintals of onions to cover demand in February 2021. Jorge Igualada, the coordinator of agri-food chains of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (Mida), said the imported onion can not be marketed after February 28, as that is when the bulk of national production enters the market.
He also said that, after reviewing the productive areas' production figures, the harvest forecasts, estimating consumption in the current situation, the committee decided to allow imports for February in order to avoid a shortage.
Igualada also stressed that the national producers were able to supply the market this year thanks to the adjustments made in the chain and the consensus between importers, marketers, producers, consumers, and members of the National Association of Distributors of Inputs, with the coordination of the Mida. This year, the entire market was supplied with national onions from January to July of this year. In previous years, the country had to import onions between January and March, and sometimes even in April, and that onion competed unfairly with the national onion.
23% production growth
The coordinator of the onion and potato chain, Jorge Santamaria, said that the country's onion production has increased by 23% since 2019 thanks to the National Government's work.
Santamaria said that the main onion producing areas in the country were the provinces of Los Santos, Herrera, Cocle, and Chiriqui. The country is expected to harvest nearly 28,529 quintals in 69 hectares in February; in March, 64,753 quintals in 128.60 hectares, and in April, 69,303 quintals in 95.99 hectares. 99 producers will participate in this quarter's production this year.