Vizcaya boosts organic products for Asean market

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BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The Provincial Government on Tuesday boosted the promotion of locally produced onion and mandarin to prepare for the eventual economic integration of South East Asia this year.

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Governor Ruth Padilla said their effort to promote Vizcaya’s native onion and mandarin as primary products will pave the way for the province to receive assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the establishment of trading centers and more farm-to-market roads.

She said the Nueva Vizcaya State University conducted a Value Chain Analysis, which will be used as basis for the Provincial Program Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) in submitting its project proposal to the DA “to further strengthen the productivity and marketability of local onion and mandarin products.”

The governor also explained that once their proposal is approved by the DA, the provincial government will establish direct markets to prevent the intervention of middlemen, which is taking away much of the farmers’ income.

“Part of our collaborative action will be the preparation of a feasibility study while the DA personnel shall provide the assessment and evaluation of these for funding,” Padilla added.

Acting provincial agriculturist Alexander Domingo said these organically grown onions are produced in Aritao town which is touted as the onion capital in Cagayan Valley while mandarin varieties are grown in Kasibu town also tagged as the citrus capital of the Philippines.

Domingo said bulb onions in the province are better because they are thicker and their shelf life is longer compared to other varieties of onions in other provinces while the mandarin products are also juicier and fresher than imported ones.

Citrus fruits and oranges, which are available all year round and also being propagated in the mountain towns of Kayapa and Ambaguio, can be bought along the national highway at Busilac in Bayombong town, which is popularly known as the Citrus Alley in the province. The citrus varieties sold here include perante, valencia, clementine, satsuma, ponkan, Washington navel, pomelo, calamansi and others.

Domingo believes that farmers’ income will get a boost when the DA endorses the Vizcayan onion and mandarin as primary commodities.

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