Farmers of ancient rice are pushed to switch to high-value crops.
To avoid shortages and stabilize prices, farmers in the Antique province must prioritize high-value crops (HVC) like onion and garlic.
During the provincial council meeting on Monday, board member Rony Molina passed a resolution in response to the “widely alarming news of overwhelming price increase in the market of two of the HVC, namely onion, and garlic.”
In his resolution, Molina stated that although the prices of these crops have remained stable over the years, there has recently been a shortage due to a lack of cold storage facilities and possibly as a result of hoarding by some traders who took advantage of the unusual situation. As a result, the government has no choice but to turn to importation to address the situation and satisfy market demand.
According to Molina, planting HVC is a better solution than importing, which is bad for farmers.
In a subsequent interview, he asserted that farmers must be taught planting technology by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
Because they are unfamiliar with the technology, most farmers in Antique prefer to grow rice rather than HVC, according to Molina.
A farmer from Barangay Sinaja in Belison town named Ronald Ardeo, 34, claimed he makes more money from farming onions than rice.
In an interview, he expressed his gratitude for the onion seedlings he had gotten from the DA in October of last year, saying, “I was able to make almost PHP20,000 from the one-fourth hectare that I planted with onions.”
He said that during the rice harvest, he only made PHP12,000.
Onions had a farm gate price of PHP80 per kilogram, and the harvest was three months away.
He stated, “I am currently preparing land once more in order to plant onions.
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