Exec denies hoarding of onions in Nueva Ecija

>> Friday, December 2, 2016

AN OFFICIAL of the provincial agricultural office in Nueva Ecija refuted claims that widespread hoarding in the province had caused the shortage in the farm produce and onion crisis in the area.
This was the reaction of Serafin Santos chief of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist regarding reports that hoarding was made the culprit for the shortage of onion supply in Nueva Ecija.
Nueva Ecija is known as the onion capital of the Philippines.
In an interview with newsmen in Quezon City, Santos said in August 2016, the farmers’ supply of onions run out in the province since it was the season of harvest.
He noted that at present, the farmers have begun planting onions in the farmlands adding that they are not affected by the current low price of onions in the province.
The agriculture office explained they momentarily employed on what they termed as “stop gap measure’’ that allows the import of onions in neighboring countries to prevent the steep rise of the agricultural crop in the market while the farmers continue to plant local onions.
“Ang talagang maaapektuhan nito ay yung mga traders at hindi ang mga magsasaka. Yung mga nakaimbak na sibuyas ngayon ay pag-aari ng mga traders at hindi ng mga magsasaka. Ganun pa man hindi sapat ang supply para i-accommodate ang pangangailangan ng sibuyas kaya nagkaroon ng pag-aangkat (Those who will be affected are the traders and not the farmers. The onions in the warehouses are owned by the traders and not by the farmers. But currently the supply is not enough to meet the demands in the market so there is a need to import the product),” said Santos.
In September 2016, Santos said they received an advice from the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAI) to conduct an inventory of current onion stock.
This was due to a lingering fear that supply may fall short because of the damage done by the Army Worm during the last cropping.
Two teams from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist were dispatched and accounted all the stocks in various cold storage facilities of the province.
Based on the inventory, the current stock in storage facilities would not be enough to meet the market demand for onion.
“The onion traders were hurt and slighted. They were probably anticipating an increase in onion prices but prices went down instead due to the influx of imported onions.  But this is temporary. There is no cause for alarm even for traders.”  Santos said. 


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