Agri dept expects lower onion prices by mid-January


Posted at Jan 02 2023 12:29 PM | Updated as of Jan 02 2023 01:32 PM

Red onions are being sold at a market in Manila on Oct. 12, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Red onions are being sold at a market in Manila on Oct. 12, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Department of Agriculture is expecting prices of onions to go down by mid-January amid efforts to augment supply and the anticipated harvest season.

The price of onions skyrocketed to P700 a kilo in some public markets in Metro Manila in the final week of 2022.

"We are looking at probably P200 [a kilo] and going down," Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista told ANC's "Headstart" Monday. 

"January 15 is the start of the harvest. Of course, the peak is March and April but with the better supply, we can see prices going down."

The suggested retail price for red onions has been set at P250 per kilogram following a recent stakeholder's meeting.

Evangelista said the reason for the surge in prices of onions was because of the high farm-gate price, which reached to P430.

"They (farmers) told us one of the reasons is because they were trying to recover the losses," she said. "In the past, there have been several typhoons. It made difficult for them to have funds to plant for a new planting season."

Traders were also offering "high price" to farmers through a bidding or auction, she added.

To protect both farmers and consumers, Evangelista said the DA would be introducing more interventions such as establishing more cold storage facilities and linking farmers directly with institutional buyers and restaurants.

For 2023, the agency foresees that prices of onions would further reduce to P170.

"I hope it will be less than P170. I hope we can have months where we can see P80," Evangelista said.

The DA's outlook for 2023 is "better irrigation, production and distribution" of agricultural commodities, she added.

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