The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), under the leadership of Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar supports the funding of a research initiative on yellow onion (Allium cepa) in the country. The project will be implemented by the National Onion Growers Cooperative Marketing Association, Inc. (NOGROCOMA). Given this opportunity, the Philippines is already set to re-open its export opportunities for the ‘Yellow Granex’ in Japan. Yellow onions are white inside with yellow-brown layers of papery skin in the outside.

In 2011, BAR supported the project titled, “Enhancing the Productivity of Yellow Onion (Allium cepa L.) Towards Commercialization for the Export Market,” under one of its banner programs, the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP). The project aims to enhance the production efficiency in onion through appropriate production technologies to come up with higher yield and quality produce for the export market.

yellow onion production

“Through the NTCP, we ensure that mature technologies are effectively transferred for adoption and utilization by our farmers and fisherfolk. We are pleased to support this initiative by NOGROCOMA to enhance productivity and to establish market for onions locally and abroad, thereby increasing the profit of our onion growers,” said Dir. Eleazar.

Since 2009, BAR and NOGROCOMA have forged ties to uplift and better the lives of the onion growers in the country. “In the last 23 years, NOGROCOMA was fortunate enough to get funding assistance from BAR particularly in developing and testing new production technologies that are cost-efficient in terms of the usage of inputs without compromising the yield,” revealed Ms. Dulce I. Gozon, chair of the Board and CEO of NOGROCOMA.

Under the project, 60 farmers have been selected as farmer cooperators in two project sites, namely: Bongabon, Nueva Vizcaya and Bayambang, Pangasinan. According to Ms. Fe Amor Ilagan of NOGROCOMA, as cooperators, farmers will be provided with all the production inputs as well as technical assistance and other logistics. The land area for planting and the labor will be provided by the cooperators. The farmers will be closely monitored from planting to harvesting during the project implementation. Likewise, capability building activities including trainings will be conducted to capacitate the farmers on the latest onion technologies.

Recently, Ms. Gozon, together with Ms. Digna L. Sandoval, assistant head of BAR-Technology Commercialization Division (TCD), Ms. Ilagan and Dr. Turoku Haga, Japanese expert, visited Osaka, Japan to explore the possibility of re-opening the export-market for ‘Yellow Granex’. The visit bore fruit as the Philippines will be initially shipping ‘Yellow Granex’ in March for trial. This s also due to the 30 years of good networking relationship between NOGROCOMA and Hannan Seika Co. Ltd and the trust earned over the years.

The technologies generated by the BAR-NOGROCOMA project complements to the preferred size by Japan market which is 7-10 centimeters in diameter that is being produced by local farmers in the two project sites.

NOGROCOMA already presented the positive result of the business meeting during the National Onion Action Team (NOAT) meeting which was attended by representatives from the government agencies, private sector, and onion growers. The news generated interest and commitment among various stakeholders in the onion industry.

To date, NOGROCOMA is preparing the necessary requirements for export. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino and Digna L. Sandoval)