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Nation

‘Smuggled onions flooding Mindanao’

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
�Smuggled onions flooding Mindanao�
Luchie Ceña, manager of the Valiant Cooperative, reiterated a statement made by Jayson Cainglet, executive director ofthe Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, that illegally imported onions being sold online have contributed to the decline of the farmgate price of the local bulbs.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  A farmers’ group has confirmed the entry of alleged smuggled onions in Mindanao.

Luchie Ceña, manager of the Valiant Cooperative,  reiterated a statement made by Jayson Cainglet, executive director ofthe Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, that illegally imported onions being sold online have contributed to the decline of the farmgate price of the local bulbs.

“Smuggled onions continue to proliferate. Traders said that large onions from Holland are sold in Cagayan de Oro,” Ceña said.

Earlier, Cainglet told The STAR that illegally sourced onions are sold for as low as P25 per kilo on Facebook.

Ceña said that onion farmers are reeling from the slump in the farmgate prices of the local bulbs.

“The farmgate price (of local onions) is at P26 or P27 per kilo. Farmers can only sell at P30 if these are of good quality that can be kept in cold storage,” Ceña said.

She said a farmer spends at least P300,000 per hectare for planting and harvesting white onions, and from P250,000 to P280,000 for red onions.

“We expect the onion harvest to increase this year as more farmers planted the bulb,” Ceña added.

She said farmers obtain loans from banks and other financing firms to be able to plant onions.     

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