SAN JUAN, La Union – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently presided over a dialogue aimed to revitalize garlic and onion industry in agrarian reform areas in Ilocos Region and to address the production and marketing problems of onion and garlic farmers in the area.
The dialogue was facilitated on Thursday, November 9 in San Juan town in La Union.
Regional Director Virgilio L. Acuna said the dialogue was organized to address the reported deep decline in the domestic production of onions and garlic in the area.
Acuna said latest numbers showed that 94% of the supply of garlic and 60% of onion in the Philippine market are already imported from the foreign markets.
He also enumerated various problems faced by the onion and garlic industry in the area which includes plant diseases and the lack of quality seedlings which severely reduces the quality and volume of production, the entry of cheap imports and smuggled garlic and onions.
The massive inflow of imported and smuggled onions and garlic to the local markets also dropped the prices of locally produced onions and garlic that eventually incurred losses to the local farmers.
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 of the production of said farm products.
He added that the dialogue also aimed to directly identify from the farmers their present status and predicaments in the light of the current industry situation.
“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 pointed out.
DAR’s Head Executive Assistant Shiela Enciso delivered a message in behalf of OIC Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong that emphasized her support to the onion and garlic industry in the country.
The other factors on the decline of the production of onion in the region were also presented by PARPO II Maria Ana B. Francisco during the dialogue.
These factors, Francisco said include the prolonged rainy seasons during the recent years and the severe attack by a fungus.
Acuna was joined during the dialogue by Congressman DV B. Savellano, DAR Region XI Director Joseph H. Orilla, Vice Governor Aureo Nisce who represented Governor Pacoy Ortega, Benito S. Andaya of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Ruby Ann L. Matutino from the Office of Senator Cynthia A. Villar, PARPO II Christianne Suguitan, PARPO II Vic M. Ines and PARPO II Atty. Raul C. Laluan.
The activity was participated by farmers from the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
Photo 1: Regional Director Virgilio L. Acuna together with Congressman DV B. Savellano, DAR HEA Shiela Enciso, DAR Region XI Director Joseph H. Orilla, Vice Governor Aureo Nisce, Benito S. Andaya of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Ruby Ann L. Matutino from the Office of Senator Cynthia A. Villar graced the dialogue on revitalizing garlic and onion industries in agrarian reform areas in Ilocos Region that was held on Thursday, November 9 in San Juan, La Union.
Photo 2: PARPO II Maria Ana B. Francisco of Pangasinan speaks before the agrarian reform beneficiaries emphasizing the province' support to revitalize the onion and garlic industry in agrarian reform areas. The stakeholders' consultation- dialogue was conducted at the Puerto de San Juan in San Juan town, La Union on Thursday, November 9.
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