Due to significant challenges faced by the onion farming community in Central Luzon, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3 (DA RFO 3) announced a comprehensive assistance program to support farmers grappling with pest infestations, particularly the onion armyworm.

Central Luzon, the country’s largest onion-producing region, with Nueva Ecija leading in production, has experienced notable crop damage due to these pests.

Recent reports from the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA RFO 3 showed that out of 10,338.88 hectares dedicated to onion farming in Nueva Ecija, 17.8 hectares were damaged, while 2,435 hectares suffered partial damage. These figures underscore the urgent need for intervention to safeguard the livelihood of local farmers and ensure stability of onion supply in the market.

In response, DA RFO 3, through the Regional Crop Protection Center, initiated several measures aimed at mitigating the impact of pest infestations. To date, the agency has successfully trained approximately 749 farmers in effective pest control techniques since the start of 2024. In addition, efforts to provide immediate relief include the distribution of 72 sachets of Pheromone Lure and 50 sachets of Plant Growth Enhancer with Insecticidal Content among affected communities.

Moving forward, HVCDP is preparing to distribute buffer stocks of red creole and yellow granex onion seeds to affected farmers by the end of March. A total of Php 27-million has been allocated for the initiative, reflecting government’s commitment to support the agricultural sector through challenging times. The current farmgate prices stand at Php 28 per kilogram for red onions and Php 45 per kilogram for yellow onions, highlighting the economic significance of this crop.

The DA RFO 3 remains steadfast in its mission to provide comprehensive support to the farmers in Central Luzon, ensuring they have the resources and knowledge necessary to overcome challenges posed by pest infestations. Through collaborative efforts and continued implementation of strategic interventions, DA RFO 3 is committed to uplifting the agricultural community and contributing to a resilient and prosperous agricultural sector in the Philippines.