Home Agriculture DA defers extension of P250 onion SRP

DA defers extension of P250 onion SRP

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DA defers extension of P250 onion SRP

Alexis Romero – The Philippine Star

January 25, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has deferred the extension of the P250 suggested retail price for onions because of the expected lower price range of the agricultural commodity after the harvest season, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil quoted the DA as saying that onion prices may decrease to P100-P150 per kilo with the entry of more than 5,000 metric tons (MT) of imported onions.

“The DA has deferred the extension of the P250 suggested retail price (SRP) due to the forecasted lower price range of onions following the harvest season,” Garafil said in a statement.

Late last month, the DA set the suggested retail price of red onions at P250 per kilo. The SRP, which took effect last Dec. 30, was intended to take effect until the first week of January

The Marcos administration is also coming up with a program to boost the production of onion farmers to lower the prices of the agricultural commodity, which rose to as high as P720 per kilo in some areas.

In a video clip released by the PCO yesterday, Marcos said the government aims to expand the areas where onions are planted and provide farmers with seeds.

“On onions, we are putting together a program…to help farmers to increase their production. We’ll do this by increasing the area that is being planted (with) onions,” the President said.

“The DA will help by providing inputs. So the first part of that is we are going to the seed producers so that they will produce good seed that we can give to the farmers at some point. These will be used as inputs. And (provide them with) all that what they need,” he added,

Speaking during a meeting in Malacañang yesterday, Marcos said the lack of cold chain facilities is affecting the supply and prices of the agricultural commodity.

“We need more cold storage, we need a better, stronger cold chain to maintain it, to preserve the agricultural products,” he said.

“So those are the plans. We are doing these for the immediate needs as prices of agricultural products increase,” he said.

Onion production in the third quarter of 2022 was at 23.30 MT, 1.7 percent higher than the 22.92 MT output in the same quarter two years ago, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The DA supply and demand outlook data for 2022 indicated that the Philippines has 120 percent sufficiency level with 312,830 MT of onions. Per capita consumption of onion is at 2.341 kg/year per, with an estimated demand of 21,000 MT per month.

The total stock inventory of locally produced red onions in cold storage nationwide is at 2,209.45 MT as of Dec. 15. There were no stocks of yellow onions and imported red onions in cold storage facilities.

Earlier this month, the DA announced the importation of about 22,000 MT of onions to lower prices and to augment the supply of the commodity.

Native red and white onions are being sold for P170 a kilo at Kadiwa outlets, with each customer allowed to buy up to three kilos. Kadiwa is a program that seeks to help farmers sell their goods and provide consumers access to affordable products.

Marcos also reiterated the government’s plan to establish a two-month sugar buffer stock to prevent shortages and to bring down the prices of the sweetener.

“(For) sugar, to cut down speculation, we are guaranteeing a buffer stock of two months, to avoid shortage, so that prices won’t go up,” he said.

“We are beginning to rationalize this buying schedule, the importation schedule, so that we will match the crop here of the local producers of sugar. So that we won’t bring in (sugar) while prices of sugar are low, to normalize the price.”

In a report to Marcos, agriculture officials said the prevailing retail price of sugar from October last year to January 2023 was “significantly higher” compared to the price from October 2021 to January 2022.

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