By: Sheila Mae H. Toreno
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol offered P100-million credit assistance to farmers of Miagao, Iloilo to expand up to 1,000 hectares of onion and garlic production areas.
During a forum held on August 9, Piñol urged farmers of Miagao, Igbaras, Tubungan and Tigbauan to plant more onion and garlic. The DA will provide financing, necessary training and marketing support.
“Every farmer could loan up to P100,000 per hectare with only six percent interest rate per annum. The interest will directly go to your association or cooperative as the lending conduit,” explained Piñol.
He added that DA proposed P750-million budget for onion and garlic production for 2018.
“We can even provide up to P200 million for Iloilo farmers if you (farmers) are wiling. He urged the local chief executives to protect the farmers of onion and garlic. The two commodities grow on specific soil types and sunlight condition,” Piñol cited.
Only six percent of the national requirement of onion and garlic are being produced. With the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) of DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council, the agency seeks to expand up to 5,000 hectares of onion and garlic areas nationwide.
“Our five-year-plan is to produce 50 percent of garlic’s national requirement and 80 percent on onion,” Piñol said.
He instructed DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn Recoter, Agricultural Training Institute Center Director Eden DLR Bautista, mayors of the above stated towns in Southern Iloilo and tfarmer leaders to learn the best cultural practices of onion and garlic production in India.
Miagao mayor Macario Napulan said that the town is the bulb onion capital of Western Visayas.
“The farmers are very interested in growing garlic and onion but they have constraints in marketing,” Napulan stressed.
Piñol also commited to provide P1 million worth of cold storage facility with 10,000 metric tons capacity for Miagao. “This facility will address their marketing problem because they could store their produce here when farmers would opt not to sell their produce if the prevailing market price is low.
On the other hand, Piñol turned over a total of P748,000 agricultural projects including handtractor with trailer, multi-purpose crates, red and yellow onion seeds to farmers groups of Miagao and Igbaras. (DA6Information)