OFF-SEASON ONION: Production under protective structure studied

Onion could fetch a high price during off-season.

A FEW YEARS back, specialists at the PhilMech were  conducting an “Assessment of Off-season Onion Production Under Protective Structure.” The objective is to develop a cost-effective protocol cropping system appropriate for farmer level to produce off-season onion. PhilMech is the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization.

HIGH PRICE DURING OFF-SEASON – If an effective protocol is developed, it could improve the livelihood of many farmers. They could produce onion during the rainy months when the  supply of the produce is low and therefore the price is high. The technology generated could help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Farmers would know what to do to enable them to produce onion year-round.

RAISED BEDS, Etc – So far, they have used raised beds for planting. They have employed protective cover plus proper drainage. They also tested tolerant varieties for off-season planting, production protocol and appropriate machinery.

3 TIMES GROSS MARGIN – As per their report, the researchers have obtained an average yield of 1,390 kilos per 1,000 sq.m., majority with medium-size bulbs. Gross margin is P35 per sq.m., about three times the gross margin of P12 per sq.m. during on-season. The protective structure is made of bamboo covered with UV plastic.

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