DA allots P200M loan to onion farmers
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA) will provide onion farmers associations with working capital worth P200 million to be used in buying their members’ produce.
The DA Secretary has also ordered Director Roy Abaya of DA Field Operations to source reefer vans which could be used as temporary storage facilities for the farmers onion production.
“These twin moves were in response to the recommendations made by Task Force Allium to neutralize the manipulation by traders of the onion pricing as harvest comes into full swing,” Piñol said.
To be specific, the DA will provide an initial working capital of P200 million for these onion farmers through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
Piñol said the working capital could be released as soon as the farmers groups have been validated and provided with reefer vans.
Earlier, the DA asked the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe reports that at least four cold storage facilities have been leased in advance by traders and closed to force farmers to sell at low prices.
The DA has also ordered that there will be no importation permits issued until after the investigation ends.