DAR conducts dialogue to revitalize garlic, onion industry in Ilocos Region
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has conducted a dialogue that aims to “revitalize” the garlic and onion industry in agrarian reform areas in Ilocos Region as well as to address the production and marketing problems of farmers in these areas.
Regional Director Virgilio Acuna said the dialogue was organized to address the reported deep decline in the domestic production of onions and garlic in the area.
Some official data indicated that the decrease of onion and garlic production in Ilocos Region was brought about by the the importation of onion and garlic from the other countries. Latest numbers showed that 94 percent of the supply of garlic and 60 percent of onion in the Philippine market are already imported from the foreign markets.
Right now, the massive inflow of imported and smuggled onions and garlic to the local markets have slashed the prices of these commodities, eventually incurring losses to the local farmers.
Other problems faced by the onion and garlic industry in the area also includes plant diseases and the lack of quality seedlings which severely reduces the quality and volume of production.
During the meeting, Acuna also took note of the lack of new production technology available to local garlic and onions producers as among the factors of the decline in the industry.
According to him, the government will help farmers address all these issues one by one.
“From there, we would determine the possible types of assistance that can be provided to the farmers by the government, local government of units and private sectors such as technical assistance, inputs, production and post-harvest facilities, support infrastructures, credit, farm types of machinery and assured market support among others,” Acuna said.