Nueva Ecija provincial gov’t holds groundbreaking for onion cold storage in Munoz City
The provincial government of Nueva Ecija held the groundbreaking ceremony of the 120,000-bag capacity onion cold storage subproject with a total worth of P210 million under the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) component of the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in the Science City of Munoz on March 24, 2023.
In his message, DA-PRDP Central Luzon (RPCO 3) Project Director, Dr. Arthur Dayrit, briefly explained the pertinent challenge faced by onion growers affecting the fluctuating prices of onion on the market. “We all know that onion is a seasonal crop and that it is also a seasonal problem where there is either a surplus or a short supply. This facility is in response to one of the major contributing factors to the supply problem which is the poor access of our farmers to this cold storage facilities.” Dr. Arthur Dayrit
Situated on the Central Luzon State University Compound in Brgy., Bantug, the subproject is set to serve small onion farmers, especially those in the northern parts of the province. This would give them an opportunity to increase their income from 27 to 73 percent annually, and consequently reduce post-harvest losses from two to five percent.
In his message, DA-PRDP North Luzon Cluster (PSO Luzon A) Project Director, Crispulo Bautista, Jr., emphasized the need of establishing post-harvest facilities in the province. “Nueva Ecija is in the forefront of agriculture in Central Luzon accounting for 50 percent of the national production of onion.”, Bautista stated.
“When we conducted a value chain analysis for onion, we saw the need of more cold storage facilities controlled by the government to serve our farmers. That’s why the PRDP Central Luzon and the DA’s regular funding programs, encouraged the provincial government units and farmer associations to propose cold storage facilities.” Bautista added.
The PRDP has already approved a total of six subprojects involving cold storages in the province of Nueva Ecija involving local government units and farmers cooperatives and associations.
The ceremony was also led by the DA-PRDP National Project Director Engr. Arnel De Mesa, Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali, Munoz City Mayor Baby Alvarez, and the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit Head Dr. Jovit Agliam. (Ram Bautista, RPCO 3 InfoACE)