By: Edwin V. Arevalo, NIA Occidental Mindoro IMO
Like other provinces in the North, planting of other crops aside from palay is suitable to Occidental Mindoro especially during Dry Season. One of those crops is Onion.
In the town of Magsaysay, where Caguray River Irrigation System is located, most of the IA farmers are producing onions since irrigation system couldn’t support the water requirement for palay during the dry months. Planting onion requires frequent and light irrigations only. This covers a total firmed-up service area of 1,990 hectares. Considering the demand and profitability of this crop, farmers were encouraged to engage in planting onion.
Onion production has been introduced in Magsaysay by some farmers from Ilocos Region. After finding out that the type of soil and climate in the province is suitable for the said crop, farmers started to engage in planting onions every dry season which begin from November to April or May.
Purnaga Magsaysay Irrigators Association, Inc. is one of the associations patronizing diversified cropping. This IA has total firm-up service area of 187 hectares wherein during 2nd cropping season, half of this area is being planted with high-value crops like onions. Even though the IA is located in the upstream part of the irrigation system and has sufficient supply of water, most farmer members still tend to plant onion, garlic and corn to supply other needs aside from palay.
Due to the implementation of Rice Tariffication Law, farmers were driven to promote diversified cropping especially onion production. Even though this is costly and labor-intensive, the profit for 1 hectare of onion production is equivalent to 5 hectares or more of palay production. This enables them to have additional income for their families.