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The Department of Agriculture hands over a P20 million onion cold storage facility to Tarlac farmers.

SAN FERNANDO CITY, PAMPANGA – Onion farmers in Barangay Ablang Sapang, Moncada, Tarlac stand to benefit from a Department of Agriculture cold storage facility project (DA).

On Wednesday, the DA Regional Field Office 3 officially handed over the PHP20 million facility to the Sapang Multi-Purpose Cooperative, one of the groups that participated in the agency’s onion expansion project.

Crispulo G. Bautista Jr., Executive Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, said the project aims to increase the price of bulb onions during lean months while maintaining supply in the local market and encouraging more farmers to enter the onion farming business.

“Through this facility, farmers will be able to extend the shelf life of onions and reduce postharvest losses, allowing them to earn a fair price for their produce,” Bautista said during the event.

The facility’s cold storage capacity is 10,000 bags of dry bulb onions. It is a component of the Department of the Interior’s Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) program.

Cesario Tabago, president of the Sapang Multi-Purpose Cooperative, said the facility will benefit farmers by allowing them to store their products safely and sell it at a profit.

Due to a lack of storage space, he explained, farmers are frequently forced to sell their produce at a loss.

“Malaking tulong ito sa mga magsasaka ng kooperatiba at sa aming bayan upang maitataas pa ang kita sa sibuyas at matatanggal na ang mga middlemen na karaniwang bumibili ng aming produkto sa napakababang halaga (This is a significant benefit to the cooperative’s and our town’

Bautista assured farmers that the DA will expand onion cold storage facilities in the region in order to help them avoid massive post-harvest losses.

The storage facility will allow onions to remaining fresh for an additional six to eight months.

It is believed to reduce post-harvest losses by 10% to 15% while maintaining the harvested produce’s quality.

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