Retail price of onions soars to P520 per kilo

by Bella Cariaso, The Manila Times

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Retail price of onions soars to P520 per kilo

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An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said that the retail price of red onions reached P520 per kilo amid tight supply.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Agriculture deputy spokesman Rex Estoperes reiterated that the DA has no plan to import as the harvest is expected to start in January 2023.

“This morning, we went to the markets. The retail price of small [red] onions is P480 [per kilo], very small in size while those that are bigger cost P520 [per kilo]. When I asked the vendor if consumers still buy despite the price. She said there are some who still buy despite the high cost,” Estoperez said.

Farmers in Tarlac have started to harvest, but the farm gate price of red onions remains high at P300 per kilo, the official said.

“I visited the production areas before Christmas. I went to Nueva Ecija and the farmers are still planting [onions]. I also visited the production areas in Tarlac. I was not able to reach Pangasinan, but there is already a harvest in Pangasinan. If the question is do we have enough supply, we have but just enough. The farm gate is P300 already. If the traders bring the onions to Metro Manila, there will be an added cost to our consumers,” he said.

Estoperez said that the DA is not considering importing onions amid the proliferation of smuggled bulbs in the country.

“We are very careful in issuing [permits] for the importation of onions as the smuggled bulbs are still rampant. If we issue permits, the smuggled onions will flood the markets,” he added.

The DA and the Bureau of Customs have confiscated at least P500 million of smuggled onions in the country.

“You can just imagine the extent of the smuggling. As of now half a billion pesos worth of smuggled onions were seized, and we expect more,” Estoperez said.

He added that Agriculture Assistant Secretary James Layug is leading the government campaign against smuggled agricultural products.

“Those involved in smuggling are just waiting for our monitoring team to stop the operation. Our monitoring team vowed that before the year ends, charges will be filed as we have already identified those involved in the smuggling with the help of the civil society,” Estoperez said.

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) Executive Director Jayson Cainglet said that the farm gate prices of red onions ranged between P250 and P370 per kilo.

“At the peak of P370 per kilo, retail prices should only be around P430 to 450 per kilo. Obviously, traders mixed imported and smuggled onions that have yet to be apprehended in the artificial spike of local farm gate price to justify the current onion prices,” Cainglet said.


2022-12-27T23:34:17+00:00December 27th, 2022|News|0 Comments

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