The Department of Agriculture (DA) will hold a free lecture, training and actual field demonstration on how to plant bulb onion and garlic on July 21 (Friday) at the Davao School for the Visual Impaired in Barangay Talomo, Davao City.
Aside from lectures , demonstration on modern irrigation systems, mulching and farm machineries operations will also be conducted.
Secretary Emannuel Piñol is expected to grace the event which is free to the public including those from outside the Davao Region.
“DA-XI through the High Value Crops Program [HVCDP] has established pilot sites in bulb onion production in Matanao, Davao del Sur; Panabo, Davao del Norte; and Mati City, Davao Oriental and showed promising results. Secretary Piñol wants to intensify production of onion as well as garlic in Mindanao to curb importation of these commodities,” said DA regional director Ricardo Oñate Jr..
He added that Secretary Piñol instructed their office to look for more potential areas for bulb onion and garlic production.
The event will be attended by bulb onion and garlic stakeholders and experts from the different parts of the country.
Among the speakers are experts from leading seed companies in the country as well as irrigation experts from an Israel-based company.
The free lecture and workshop will be conducted due to the successful performance of DA-XI’s pilot farms for onion which will then be followed by the establishment of garlic pilot farms.
In his Facebook post, Secretary Piñol said that farmers who are interested to venture in bulb onion and garlic farming will be given access to credit amounting to a maximum of P50,000 per hectare.
He also added that the Onion and Garlic Development Program is being launched by DA to ensure sufficient supply of such commodities by the end of the Duterte Administration.
Base on the data of DA, Philippines imported 94 percent of garlic and 70 percent of onion from China and India.
Region 11’s potential
Etchie Rose Nalzaro, DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) focal person on spices said Davao Region has a lot of potential areas for onion and garlic production.
“There are a lot of potential areas in Davao region and those mentioned areas are really feasible for bulb onion production and eventually for garlic too,” Nalzaro said.
Nalzaro said HVCDP recently gave 16 cans of bulb onion seeds to a farmer in Brgy. Asinan in Matanao, Davao del Sur for expansion.
From a 1,000 sq. meters of bulb onion planted by Lupe Calunsag in Brgy. Asinan Matanao, Davao del Sur, he is now ready to expand his farm to 1.6 hectares.
Calunsag said bulb onion farming is beneficial since it generates good income to their family and it is easy to market.
“Up to now we are still supported by DA in terms of seeds because we have seen the potential of bulb onion in our area,” Calunsag adds.
Calunsag urged his fellow farmer to venture in bulb onion farming since the demand in the market is rising. He added that bulb onion farming does not require extensive process as long as you have a good soil and enough sunlight.
Lupe Calunsag, farmer in Matanao, Davao del Sur checks the bulb onions before harvesting. (Photo by Ronell B. Tangonan DA-11)