Lack of cold storage bugs onion industry

Red onions producers are incurring up to P6 billion in post-harvest losses because of the lack of cold storage facilities and reliable logistics, according to a study released by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.

The estimated volume of post-harvest losses for red onion reached 48,891 metric tons, or nearly P1.96 billion, while post-harvest losses for the cold-stored onion chain was at 63.9 percent, with estimated volume and value lost at 69,333 MT and nearly P4.01 billion, respectively.

Based on the study “Analysis of Fruit and Vegetable Value Chains in the Philippines” postharvest losses along the value chains of onion, tomato and mango, three of the most important crops in the country, reached alarming levels, specifically for onions.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the study also revealed that postharvest loss of freshly harvested onions from the farm in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija to the final market in Divisoria, Manila was 45.06 percent.