MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking a national database on onion production and inventory, as well as a better farming technology to prevent onion shortage in the future.
During the stakeholders' meeting on Monday, they were able to come up with the Optimization and Resiliency In the Onion Industry Network (ORION) to boost the commodity's production and address issues.
The DA said some factors of the supposed onion shortage include high prices of fertilizers and seeds, labor cost, "low level of mechanization," expensive marketing and distribution.
The agency also lamented "limited access to credit facilities; and inconsistencies in information," which was why it is pushing for a streamlined database on onion inventory.
"During [ORION's] implementation, it will improve productivity and efficiency of onion plantations thru PhilGAP certification, reduce pre- and post-harvest losses, improve product distribution and logistics, and ensure sustainable supply in the local market," the statement read.
"Also under ORION, innovative farming technologies will be pushed as well as value-adding processes to maximize production and income," the agency added.
Aside from this, the DA will provide easy access credit loans "which may be used for the purchase of equipment and establishment of facilities."
It will also create organizations and "farmer clusters."
"The department will continue to carry out an intensified distribution scheme for production and marketing support, to allow the sector to grow and profit," it said.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr earlier said more cold storage facilities are needed to help onion farmers cope with issues in the supply chain.
The statement comes following the multi-stakeholder meeting ordered by the President to discuss the price of onions. Philippines earlier approved the importation of over 21,000 metric tons of the commodity to pull down its soaring prices.
Onion prices could drop to P100 to P150 per kilo with the arrival of imported onions, the DA has said.
In December, onion prices rose to as high as P700 per kilo.