Due to the limited supply, red onions may continue to be expensive
Red onion prices may continue to be high due to the still-limited supply, the Department of Agriculture in Davao Region said on Tuesday, December 6. Red onions are currently very expensive due to a lack of imported supply in the market and limited local p
Due to the limited supply, red onions may continue to be expensive

According to Alexander Sibuan, a market specialist with the DA-Davao Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, the average demand for red onions is 2.34 kilograms per person, but only 4,000 to 5,000 metric tons are predicted to be produced in December.

He also said that because the Department of Trade and Industry had not approved the importation of red onions, the market only carried the native variety grown by farmers on the island of Luzon.

“We cannot meet the forecasted yield versus demand per capita however the onion growers association in Luzon, nihangyo sila na dili sa mag import (they asked to hold importation) because they have (an upcoming) harvest this month,” Sibuan said during a media forum.

According to DA-price Davao's monitoring, prices for red onions dropped to about P130 to P150 per kilo in the past when imported red onions were present, down from the approximately P320 price seen today at public markets.

Engr. The High-Value Crops Development Program of DA-regional Davao's coordinator, Rubylyn Gomez, disclosed that although there are four onion farmers in the Davao Region, they only produce about 3,000 kilograms annually.

The farmers, according to Gomez, are situated in the municipalities of Matanao, Magsaysay, and Mawab, with an average farming area of 1,000 square meters each and a 300-kilos annual output of red onions.

"Kung production supply this coming December, wala pa (We do not have a production supply this December). Our expected harvest is February 2023. The farmers are not into big farming areas like one or two hectares,” she said.

Gomez clarified that because onions require a lot of work to grow, onion farming is not very common in the area. Onions, according to her, need a specific kind of soil to grow well and are susceptible to pests, rain, and other weather conditions.

She continued by saying that the persistent rainy weather prevented the local farmers from harvesting in December, despite their best efforts.

However, DA-Davao claimed that by offering seedlings and training in farming technology, they support the current farmers. Since growing onions has the potential to be a source of income, they also advocate for it.

As a result, the Davao Region will continue to rely on the supply from the island's leading onion producers, particularly those in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and MIMAROPA.

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