Improved native garlic to check low output

CITY OF BATAC, Ilocos Norte: The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 (DA-RFO1) has introduced improved native garlic to boost local production and potential investment in Region 1 (Ilocos Region) in response to the region's declining production.

According to the DA, Region 1 is the largest garlic-producing region, contributing more than 65 percent to the country's total production with the best comparative advantage in production because of its agroclimatic suitability.

The llocos Region, however, experienced a decline in the volume of production because of low-yielding varieties and high post-harvest losses.

Also noted was a decline in the area planted and harvested for garlic as a result of the region's farmers shifting to other high-value crops over stiff competition with imported garlic that depressed prices of the region's produce.

To encourage farmers to plant more garlic and increase production, the DAR-RFO1 said it implemented a project called "Enhancing Garlic Production in Ilocos," funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), introducing yield-boosting and enhancing technologies and evaluating the possibility of two-season cropping of garlic per year.

The improved native garlic project was the subject of a study conducted and published by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).