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DA turns over cold storage facilities to Ecija onion farmers

The Department of Agriculture-Central Luzon (DA-3) has handed over two cold storage facilities in Nueva Ecija province that will address the onion farmers’ postharvest storage concerns.

DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Director Glenn Panganiban, together with DA Central Luzon Regional Executive Director Crispulo G. Bautista Jr. and other officials, led the turnover of the cold onion storage facilities to members of the Caridad Sur Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CASFA) in Barangay Caridad Sur, Llanera town and Kalasag Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Barangay San Agustin, San Jose City, both in Nueva Ecija.

According to a Philippine News Agency report, the establishment of the facilities worth P20 million each was funded by DA under the Bayanihan II Fund and HVCDP regular fund.

Each facility has a capacity of 10,000 bags, the report said.

In the report, Bautista said the cold storage will help prolong the shelf life of onions and lessen the postharvest losses which, in turn, will help the farmers acquire adequate income.

He said this would eliminate the middlemen who usually buy the onion farmers’ products at a low cost.

Due to lack of storage facilities, farmers are often forced to market their produce at a low price, but with the construction of the cold storage facility, they would be able to properly store their produce and obtain a good price for it, the report said.

“Ang Department of Agriculture ay hindi po namin kayo pinababayaan. Halos lahat ng aming programa, ang aming pagpaplano ng mga proyekto ay para sa kapakanan ng mga magsasaka,” Bautista was quoted as saying in the PNA report.