Mindoro onion farmers get P300 M loan from DA
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allocating P300 million for onion farmer associations in Occidental Mindoro to buy their members’ produce in a bid to protect them from price manipulation by traders.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the DA has committed a standby loan facility of P300 million to be used in buying the produce of cooperative members at a higher price of at least P15 per kilo.

The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) will release the initial P30 million next week to accredited cooperatives which will consolidate their members’ produce.

The onions will be stored in cold storage facilities already identified by the DA.

“The P300 million loan facility will be enough to cover the remaining onion production of farmers in the province due for harvest starting next week,” Piñol said.

DA will shoulder the payment of the storage fees estimated at P65 per bag for every month of storage.

“When the onion is kept in cold storage facilities, the cooperatives and the DA will monitor the price in the market and release the supply as soon as there is an upward trend,” Piñol said.

The DA has stepped in following complaints by farmers that traders have dropped the buying price of onion from a high of P30 last year to only P8 to P12 per kilo.

Onion farmers in Occidental Mindoro harvest as much as 12 to 15 metric tons per hectare because of its good soil and ideal climate.

The construction of four cold storage facilities for Occidental Mindoro has been included in the DA budget proposal for 2020.

DA is  currently working on the resumption of  onion exports to Indonesia which opened its market to Philippine agricultural products.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MINDORO ONION FARMERS
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