Onions in Pangasinan rotting due to low price

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Onions are practically rotting in the fields in the towns of Bayambang and Bautista, two of the biggest onion-producing towns of Pangasinan, as the price of the commodity has significantly dropped to P10 per kilogram from the previous P12.

Gov. Amado Espino Jr., whose family is into onion farming in Bautista town, lamented the drastic drop in the price of the commodity. Espino hinted that the decline in price might be due to “ample production and the presence of imported onions in the market.”

Although the farmgate price of onions is at P12 per kilo, the produce is being sold at P20 per kilo by market vendors in Dagupan City and other markets in Pangasinan. At P20 per kilo, it is still quite low to allow farmers a little profit considering the high production cost they incur.

Espino said another reason for the low prices of onions is the alleged manipulation of middlemen who buy this commodity in bulk.

It was learned that onions are now rotting in Bayambang and Bautista towns as farmers have no storage facilities for their crop.

Espino said there is no possible intervention that he can implement at the moment to help onion farmers minimize their losses.

Meanwhile, Espino announced that the province of Pangasinan is set to receive its Hall of Fame Award from the Department of Agriculture (DA) for being adjudged for the third time in a row as Agri-Pinoy National Rice Achiever on March 25.

“We are very happy as all our efforts in agriculture have paid off,” Espino said. He credited the expansion of the land area for farming, provision of irrigation, and introduction of modern technologies and organic fertilizer for the increased yields both of rice and corn.

Pangasinan was the third top rice-producing province in the county, next only to Isabela and Nueva Ecija in 2013.

Espino noted that if Phase 2 of the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project is completed, Pangasinan can compete for the top spot.

Along with a trophy, the province is set to receive a cash prize of P4 million which, according to the governor, will be used for programs to further improve rice production.

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