Onion may soon be over.
Red Onion Pilot Farms started by the Agriculture Department in at least three areas in the Davao Region have produced an average yield of 10 metric tons per hectare.
Agriculture Region XI Executive Director said Bong Oñate that even under normal farm conditions, the Red Onion, also known as Red Creole, showed adaptability to the soil and climatic conditions of the Davao Region.
Oñate informed me today that the Red Onion was planted in open range with a moderate application of a mix of organic fertilizer and 14-14-14.
When I assumed office as Secretary of Agriculture last year, I instructed Oñate to develop pilot farms for Bulb Onion in the Davao Region.
It was the first step to explore new areas to grow Onion, an important commodity in Philippine cuisine.
Filipino farmers mostly in Luzon and Mindoro only produce 30% of the Onion supply requirement of the country.
Most of the supply comes from China and India.
While farmers in Luzon could only plant Onion once a year as an off season altrrnative crop to rice, Mindanao farmers could grow it twice a year because of favorable climate.
Oñate said the yield could be higher if modern farming technology is applied like drip irrigation and mulching.
With an average farm gate price of P35 per kilo, a farmer could earn a gross income of P350,000 per harvest.
With the positive results on the Red Onion Pilot Farms, the Agriculture Department will.start educating farmers on how to plant Onion
Those who will participate in the program will be given a P25,000 per hectare loan under the Production Loan Easy Access of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.
The Agriculture Department will also construct a cold storage facility in the Davao Region before the end of 2017.
Additional pilot farms for Red Onion and Garlic will also be started in other regions in Mindanao and the Visayas.
The Agriculture Department has crafteda 5-Year Onion and Garlic Development Program which aims to produce 80% of the Onion and 50% of the Garlic requirements of the country by 2022.
SOURCE: MANNYPINOL FBPAGE