In Iloilo, the green onion is a big crop
By Dell H. Grecia
Growing green onion is one of the most profitable industries in farm south-east of Iloilo City. Here, the areas planted with green onion are vast, impressive, and very well cared for.
The lowland farmers started planting green onion right after they harvest rice in October; those in hilly areas plant throughout the year.
The growers have a ready market. While most of their produce are sold an Iloilo City, other Visayan provinces – Negros, Cebu, Capiz, and Antique – also buy a lot of vegetable. Some of it even goes to Manila.
How do they grow green onions? Says the barangay captain Ireneo Gumay, 30, of Tagbak: “We don’t grow the onion seedlings. We buy old, ready-to-transplant seedlings P8 per 100 bunches.
“We order our seedlings from farmers who devote their time to seedling production one or two months ahead of the planting schedule to ensure that we get all the seedlings that we need.
“Two weeks after transplant seedlings, we apply a kilogram of urea per plot. We apply another kilogram one month from transplanting. We broadcast urea directly and then water the plots immediately to avoid fertilizer burn.”
Rodolfo Jantican, 53, a resident of the same barangay, says that prevent pest and diseases, he use only insecticides recommended of Bureau of Plant Industry technicians.
“I use several insecticides brands,” he says, “so that pests don’t become resistant to any brand.”
Water supply is vital to the nature. During summer, deep wells are their only source of water. Drawing water is quite laborious, but product from sales compensate for all hard work.
Gumay says that they plant varieties of green onion- white, big “Canaca,” and the “Bisaya.” The latter is ideal for famous “batchoy” mami of Ilongos. For export, the farmers plant Canaca.
The profits from green onions are the greatest thing of all. Gumay says the most growers gross for P 1,000 to P 1,500 after only months of culture.
This is something for other vegetable growers of the country to ponder on. There is absolutely reason why the crop can’t be grow on a large scale in other parts of the country.