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DA plans to extend ban on imported onion

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday announced plans to extend the ban on onion importation given the bumper harvest by local producers.

The import ban, initially implemented in January 2024, aimed to prevent a surplus that could depress prices. The decision followed a 40-percent increase in onion planting area by farmers, anticipating high yield.

“Cold storages in onion-producing areas are full, and prices are stable. So, there is no reason to import,” said Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel. He said prices had significantly dropped since November 2023, with red onions at P70 per kilogram and white onions at P60.

“When I joined the DA in November, the price was P110 up to P120 a kilo,” he said.

Tiu Laurel said he is also overseeing the price movement of rice, corn and other agricultural products as the country transitions from El Niño to La Niña.

The monitoring effort aims to ensure food security per President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive, he said.

The hot and dry weather condition amid the El Niño in the past several months had affected the agricultural sector. The arrival of La Niña is expected to bring heavy rainfall which could cause flooding, impacting agricultural lands.

The DA has operationalized the Climate Resilient Agriculture Steering Committee (CRASC) led by Undersecretary Asis Perez to strategize and manage DA resources for climate change response.

Tiu Laurel, a member of the Presidential Task Force El Niño, said he is working alongside other agencies to safeguard consumers.

The Department of National Defense (DND) also pledged its support in price monitoring to prevent profiteering during the weather shift.

President Marcos’ Executive Order No. 53 mandates streamlining efforts for disaster preparedness and rehabilitation.

This aims to minimize the impact of El Niño and La Niña through a comprehensive plan.


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