TO alleviate unemployment in Ilocos Norte, the provincial government is strengthening its efforts to support the onion production with seeds and equipment in the province as well as promote the crop to a wider market.
Gov. Imee Marcos has granted requests from vegetable growers for 70 grams onion seeds, fertilizers and tractors through the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO).
Wilfredo Valdez, president of the Vegetable Growers Association (VGA)
of Region 1, however, said that 50 percent of the production cost is funded by the provincial government and the remaining 50 percent comes from the farmers.
Valdez said that before the program was introduced to the group “our farms were usually left uncultivated for several months.”
“We are expecting that this effort will increase the production of onion which is said to be [our]major Ilocano crop,” he said.
Growers said they used to plant garlic but due to the market demand of pricing the crop lower, “we will most likely attain loss than gain profit.”
Provincial agriculturists said the 10 cans of 400-gram onion seeds are sowed in one hectare by 100 people, “providing continuous jobs and income aside from harvesting rice for many farmers.”
They said the provincial government has also provided them other vegetable seeds to promote a wider variety of produce and to further support the Ilocano farmers.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has already given four hand tractors to the VGA, which they regularly use for more efficient onion production.
Leander C. Domingo