While it’s true that the first time is always the hardest, farmers in barangay Sumabnit, in Binalonan, Pangasinan have shown that onion growing is feasible in their area. This was proven after farmers from other barangays and neighboring towns attended the first-ever onion field day held on April 13, 2023.

Through the initiative of the LGU Binalonan and the assistance of the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Plant Industry, the Adaptability Trial on Red Onion Production was established at about 2,500 square meter area owned by Municipal Councilor and Chairman, Committee in Agriculture of Binalonan Mr. Arturo Romoa who allowed the free use of his lot for the field trial. The inputs were likewise provided by four participating private companies namely the EastWest Seed Company, Ramgo International Corporation, Allied Botanical Corporation, and Enviro Scope Synergy, Inc.

The activity was highlighted by the field walk wherein participants witnessed and rated the performance of the three varieties planted namely Red Onion, Super Pinoy, and Onion 88. Other than that, the activity also highlighted the ability of the town of Binalonan to grow onion which is more known as palay and corn producing area.

Ms. Carlina Cabico, farmer cooperator, said she was happy with the result of the trial despite the difficulties of producing onions for the first time.

A harvest of roughly 2 metric tons of red onions from an area of about 2500 square meters is anticipated with a promise from their Municipal Agriculture Office to take charge of selling their produce at around P100-120 per kilo with all the sales to be handed to their association.

Meanwhile, Mr. Leonel Limbauan of DA-BPI mentioned the ORION (Onion Industry Network) Program, a lending program under the ACPC geared towards a self-sufficient, profitable, and progressive onion industry in the country.

In addition, the DA RFO 1 through the HVCDP awarded a total of 1,317,696.36 worth of interventions to Riverview Sumabnit Farmers’ Association and Pasileng Farmers Association. Specific interventions given were a greenhouse with hydroponics, 1 unit pump and engine set, and 1 unit multi-cultivator.

Reflecting on the success of the adaptability trial, Ms. Maricar Bongais, HVCDP focal person, anticipates the town to be one of DA’s expansion areas for onion production to help address the insufficiency of the commodity in the country.