Onion crisis looms
MANILA, Philippines–An onion supply crisis is looming in Central Luzon as unsold stocks pile up even as farmers have dropped prices to entice buyers, according to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag).
For this, the umbrella group of farmers, agribusiness operators and party-list groups has blamed “the cartel of onion traders and importers.”
Sinag said the cartel stockpiled foreign-sourced onions so the price of the local harvest would sink to “ridiculously low levels”, while influencing buyers to stay away from the farms.
Sinag chair Rosendo So said traders have no incentive to go out to the farms since warehouses in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are “full of imported and smuggled onions.”
“Local onion growers have pushed down farmgate prices to P10 to P12 per kilo for white onions and P7 to P9 a kilo for red onions, but onion traders are still not coming,” So said.
He said that ideally farmgate prices should be at least P12 per kilo for white onions and P15 for red onions.–Ronnel W. Domingo