MORE OR LESS P50 million worth of cold storage facilities for onion and garlic will be established in Iloilo Province.
Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. said the fund will come from the Department of Agriculture as committed by Secretary Manny Piñol.
Piñol made the commitment in a dialogue with the garlic and onion farmers in Iloilo on Aug. 9, 2017.
“The facilities will be for onion, garlic, fruits, and vegetables. Secretary Piñol assured that there is a fund for the project,” Defensor said.
The only condition that the secretary gave is for the provincial government to choose the site.
The town of Miagao in the first district is being eyed as site because most onion and garlic farmers live in the town.
The governor said the main purpose of the facilities is to address the problems with cartels manipulating the price and supply of prime spices.
Cartel is a group of independent producers whose goal is to increase their collective profits by means of price fixing and limiting supply.
Farmers are also deprived of higher production as harvest season for onion is only once a year.
“The farmers complain that during harvest season, there is a reduction of price of onions because of cartels. But with the storage facilities, their produce could last for a longer period and they could sell them at a higher price,” he said.
Meanwhile, Defensor said Piñol also announced that the government will provide a clean loan to rice farmers with no collateral and only a six percent interest.
“The loan will be given to farmers in the entire province provided they will use the latest rice technology and hybrid seeds,” he said.