As there are currently many problems with the supply of onions, farmer group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) has urged the government to establish cold storage facilities for the vegetable. The group claims that the lack of cold storage onion facilities is one of the primary factors why onions are so expensive right now.
“We can also blame importation, smuggling, and price manipulation for the exorbitant onion prices,” said KMP Chairperson Emeritus Rafael Mariano.
Cold storage facilities are low-temperature-controlled warehouses for agricultural products and other perishable food items. In 2022, the Philippines had 151 Department of Agriculture-accredited cold storage facilities. Most of these are in the National Capital Region with 45, Central Luzon with 30, and CALABARZON with 24. According to KMP, this is not enough to avoid the high spoilage of agricultural products produced by farmers.
Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) also called for investment in cold storage facilities as it is the way “to reduce post-harvest losses and improve farmers’ income.”