LAOAG CITY – Rice farmers in Ilocos Norte are slowly shifting to planting high-value commercial crops to boost their productivity, with the help of the Department of Agriculture and the provincial government.
Farmers in the seven onion-producing towns of the province are now preparing for the planting of at least 50 tons of shallot bulbs provided by the government.
Maria Teresa Bacnat, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Agriculture Office, confirmed this on Friday as the DA allocated planting materials for Ilocos Norte farmers.
"At least one ton of planting materials (shallot bulbs) was allocated for every one hectare,” she said.
Farmer-recipients under the program are from the towns of Badoc who are tilling 15 hectares, Pinili with eight hectares, Paoay, seven hectares; Bacarra, seven hectares; Currimao, five hectares; Batac, five hectares; and Vintar with three hectares.
Last Sept. 1, the DA also distributed an initial 25 tons of shallot bulbs to various local government units in Ilocos Sur.
An additional 25 tons of planting materials are expected to be distributed once delivered by the supplier.
According to DA authorities, 50 tons of planting materials have an approximate yield of 600 tons.
Next to the MIMAROPA region, the Ilocos Region currently ranks second in the production of onions in the Philippines.
Based on the quarterly bulletin of the Philippine Statistics Authority from April to June 2022, the production of onion in the second quarter of 2022 in Ilocos region was registered at 82,000 metric tons. It increased by 20.2 percent from the 68,270 metric tons output in the same quarter of 2021. (PNA)