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12月3日のまにら新聞から

Onion supply sufficient, but option to import being looked into: DA official

[ 388 words|2022.12.3|英字 (English) ]

The Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI) is looking into the possible importation of onions despite sufficient supply this month, a Department of Agriculture official said on Friday.

During the "Laging Handa" public briefing, Assistant Agriculture Secretary Kristine Evangelista said supplies look sufficient with 5,000 metric tons harvest expected this month.

"The inventory reached around 13,000 metric tons now some of our onion farmers are expected to harvest 5,000 metric tons this second week of December or last week December. We compare this to the demand for the month of December which is 17,000 metric tons, so if we're going to look on that, we look sufficient," she said.

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) head Rosendo So had warned that retail prices of onions could reach P400 per kilo due to shortage.

In a radio interview, So on Tuesday said Sinag arecommended last month to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to import at least 7,000 metric tons of white onions and 7,500 metric tons of red onions.

Evangelista explained demand be affected because some consumers of white onions have shifted to red onions. Red onions average between P200 to P300 a kilo.

"We know that there consumers who previously use white onions now shifted to red onions... that is something that is also being looked into by the Bureau of Plant Industry ," she said.

"Based on the inventory, the Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI) will find out from the producers, from the onion farmer and to really verify their expected harvest for us to know the supply situation... when they have the right data can they come up with a recommendation on the strategy for us to have sufficient supply of onions," she added when asked if there is a need to import onions.

As she stressed the importance of imports to maintain the stable price of onions, Evangelista added that significance of the proper timing and the right volume needed in importation to make sure that the interest of farmers are being protected.

"At a certain time of the year, the supply of onions is getting thinner. This is when the importation comes in, we also have to look into the timing of the importation, the volume as we are avoiding having too much supply of imported onions during the harvest season," she said. Robina Asido/DMS