A BOUN­TI­FUL ONION HAR­VEST FES­TI­VAL IN MIN­DORO

Agriculture - - Spice - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

THE NO­TION that cul­ti­va­tion of onion can only be con­fined to a cer­tain re­gion in Lu­zon may not be true any­more af­ter farm­ers in San Jose, Oc­ci­den­tal Min­doro proved that onion can like­wise be pro­lif­i­cally grown in their area.

This wel­come de­vel­op­ment came about fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful onion har­vest fes­ti­val which was ini­ti­ated by Al­lied Botan­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion (ABC) in La Curva, San Jose City, Oc­ci­den­tal Min­doro re­cently. The har­vest fes­ti­val was held at a two-hectare farm­land in Barangay La Curva where three onion va­ri­eties—Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red Onion, Red Colorado Su­per II Onion, andRio Bravo F1 Hy­brid Yel­low Onion—were in­tro­duced by ABC.

Par­tic­i­pants and guests in­cluded farm­ers, agripreneurs, city and mu­nic­i­pal agri­cul­tural of­fi­cials, and lo­cal traders.

The Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red Onion va­ri­ety is a new hy­brid “Tinto” type red onion which is early ma­tur­ing and highly rec­om­mended for the fresh mar­ket. This va­ri­ety has a high mar­ketable yield due to its ex­cel­lent bulb size and uni­for­mity. Among its dis­tin­guish­able char­ac­ter­is­tics are its deep red bulb

color and high tol­er­ance of dis­eases.

The Rio Bravo F1 Hy­brid Yel­low Onion is a very early-ma­tur­ing va­ri­ety that has heavy weight, and per­fect uni­form size with at­trac­tive golden straw skin, mak­ing it ideal for the prepa­ra­tion of sal­ads and soups.

The Red Colorado Su­per II Onion va­ri­ety ma­tures in about 85 days af­ter trans­plant­ing and can pro­duce small to medium-sized bulbs. It has a deep red bulb color and is highly rec­om­mended for stor­age. This va­ri­ety also fea­tures small necks and dou­ble skin, with a high mar­ketable bulb yield and re­sis­tance to sev­eral dis­eases.

It was learned that the said onion va­ri­eties are well adapted for pro­duc­tion in the trop­i­cal re­gions, and de­signed for long stor­age and ro­bust yields even in stress con­di­tions. “Our onion

va­ri­eties of­fer grow­ers with at­trac­tive, high qual­ity bulbs that are much sought af­ter by con­sumers,” said ABC pres­i­dent Michael Ca­balles.

Dur­ing the har­vest fes­ti­val, among the farm­ers who of­fered their tes­ti­monies re­gard­ing the per­for­mance of the said onion va­ri­eties in the lo­cal­ity were Jolly Mam­bong, Pe­dro Lu­malang, and Jer­win de­los San­tos. They claimed that the said onion va­ri­eties per­formed very well in the area, con­sid­er­ing that onions were known to thrive only in a par­tic­u­lar re­gion in north­ern Lu­zon.

Even an onion farmer in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija claimed that the said va­ri­eties, par­tic­u­larly the Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red Onion va­ri­ety, per­formed well; he added that he was able to dou­ble his har­vest as

com­pared to the tra­di­tional va­ri­eties he once used.

It was in­deed a boun­ti­ful onion har­vest fes­ti­val as the lo­cal farm­ers and farm­ing of­fi­cials wit­nessed how onion farm­ing can be­come pro­lific in their area af­ter wit­ness­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ac­tual har­vest of the dif­fer­ent onion va­ri­eties. With this de­vel­op­ment, it is pos­si­ble that onion farm­ing can also flour­ish in the dif­fer­ent re­gions of the coun­try, which can even­tu­ally ad­dress the in­ter­mit­tent onion shortage be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by farm­ers and con­sumers from time to time.

With the com­bi­na­tion of these char­ac­ter­is­tics and farm­ing con­ve­nience, the farm­ers and guests were able to wit­ness a to­tally new con­cept of pro­duc­ing this crop in their area, which can draw the in­ter­est of the con­sumers, as well as traders and food pro­ces­sors in the lo­cal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Ca­balles, these va­ri­eties were de­vel­oped to grow well in the dif­fer­ent ge­o­graphic re­gions of the coun­try, sea­sons, and cli­matic con­di­tions, while keep­ing abreast of ever-chang­ing mar­ket de­mands and con­sumer pref­er­ences. He said that ABC is also work­ing with a world­wide network of crop spe­cial­ists, grow­ers, pro­ces­sors, and re­tail­ers be­cause they be­lieve that in­for­ma­tion ex­change in the field of agri­cul­ture is essen­tial.

In­ci­den­tally, the seeds of the said onion va­ri­eties are dis­trib­uted in the Philip­pines by ABC, a lead­ing supplier, pro­ducer, and breeder of veg­etable seeds in the coun­try.

On hand to guide the farm­ers and agripreneurs on how to prop­erly cul­ti­vate the said onion va­ri­eties in the lo­cal­ity were ABC area sales man­ager Leo Mon­dragon and his staff.

Ca­balles says that with a solid pro­gram for lo­cal­ized breed­ing, ABC prides it­self on its rigid se­lec­tion and breed­ing of trop­i­cal veg­eta­bles. He added that ABC car­ries some of the world’s best-known brands in the hor­ti­cul­ture busi­ness, with each brand be­ing a sym­bol of ex­cel­lence and spe­cial­iza­tion in its field, and the re­sult of their metic­u­lous and rigid screen­ing and se­lec­tion. “We pride our­selves on bring­ing the best seeds and fer­til­izer tech­nol­ogy avail­able to Filipino farm­ers.”

The Rio Bravo F1 Hy­brid Yel­low Onion is a very early-ma­tur­ing va­ri­ety that has heavy weight and a per­fect uni­form size with at­trac­tive golden straw skin.

The Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red Onion va­ri­ety is a new hy­brid “Tinto” type red onion which is early ma­tur­ing and highly rec­om­mended for the fresh mar­ket.

Par­tic­i­pants and guests dur­ing the onion har­vest fes­ti­val in­cluded farm­ers, agripreneurs, city and mu­nic­i­pal agri­cul­tural of­fi­cials, and lo­cal traders.

ABC pres­i­dent Michael Ca­balles (third from left) ex­plains to some of the par­tic­i­pants that the new onion va­ri­eties were de­vel­oped to adapt well in the dif­fer­ent ge­o­graphic re­gions of the coun­try.

The Rio Bravo F1 Hy­brid Yel­low Onion is very ideal for use in the prepa­ra­tion of dif­fer­ent dishes and soups.

The Red Colorado Su­per II onion va­ri­ety ma­tures in about 85 days af­ter trans­plant­ing and can pro­duce small to medium-sized bulbs.

Among the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red Onion are its deep red bulb color and high tol­er­ance of dis­eases.

Dur­ing the har­vest fes­ti­val, farm­ers who of­fered their tes­ti­monies re­gard­ing the per­for­mance of the onion va­ri­eties in­cluded (from right) Jolly Mam­bong, Pe­dro Lu­malang, and Jer­win de­los San­tos.

One of the par­tic­i­pants flashes a thumbs-up sign af­ter har­vest­ing some bulbs of the Su­per Max F1 Hy­brid Red onion va­ri­ety.

The no­tion that cul­ti­va­tion of onion can only be con­fined in a cer­tain re­gion in Lu­zon may not be true any­more af­ter farm­ers in San Jose, Oc­ci­den­tal Min­doro also proved that onion can like­wise be pro­lif­i­cally grown in their area.

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