The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) is exploring the possibility of locally growing red onion in the province amid the nationwide surge of prices of the widely used aromatic vegetable.
According to OPA officer-in-charge Larry Pamugas, they will undergo adaptability trials to grow five onion variants projected to thrive in the province.
“Seventeen mana ka variety ang bombay, so nagpili to og 5 na pwede sa weather nato,” said Pamugas.
He added that the chosen variants are the same ones used grown by the Department of Agriculture in the neighboring province of Siquijor.
The trials are set to begin in March.
Pamugas said they will purchase seeds worth P30,000 from India-base East-West Seed Company.
These will then be grown in a 200-square meter sandy loam plot at an OPA facility in Ubay.
Pamugas said if the trials are successful they will help interested farmers in adopting the planting method in a bid to increase local supply and lower prices.
“So basin naay mo uyon, hopefully naa puy farmer na mo adopt og sakto og presyo,” he said.
The agriculture official admitted that they were caught off guard by the sudden skyrocketing of onion prices leaving them without any contingency measure.
“Wala jud ta magdahom ini kay kaya raman unta jamo sa Luzon kung mo palpak ang importation sa [sibuyas]. Pero ang Luzon wa man ma-ready so napugos sila og harvest,” said Pamugas.
On Tuesday, the DA gave the green light for the the importation of 21,060 metric tons of onions to fill the supply gap and temper the continuous spike in prices.
Licensed onion importers are given until January 27, 2023 to ship their supplies to the country. (A. Doydora)