The Onion UNION project has officially concluded after more than two years of farmer training and harvest festivals. Closing programs of the project sites in Ilocos Sur, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, and Mindoro were held virtually from April 16 to April 22 in adherence to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.
To date, the project has trained a total of 766 out of 600 target farmers, and 44 agronomists, exceeding the 40 target mark in the established Onion Learning Centers.
A Multi-Stakeholder Forum attended by representatives from the Regional Department of Agriculture, High Value Crops Development Program (HVCPD) of the Dept. of Agriculture, Municipality of Agriculture of Bantay-Ilocos Sur, Office of the Provincial Agriculture, and the Farmer Cooperator was also organized to create a task-force committee that will continue improving the farmers’ pest management, onion production, and help farmers increase their income through aligning efforts of the different offices.
“We have worked wonderfully together with ASSIST, our partner implementer, and co-financier DEG for the Onion UNION project. Integrated pest management is one of the ways to help farmers protect their crops, which is among the initiatives under the Onion UNION. The beauty of this project is we spent several years on the activities, and we want to thank all the partners because we can now see the impact of our actions,” Henk Hermans, General Manager of East-West Seed Company on the success of the project.
Through various technologies and trainings on integrated pest management, onion farmers in the Luzon region can benefit from an increased yield and resilience from environmental conditions caused by climate change, new pests, and crop diseases.
Onion Union: Capacity Building on Integrated Pest Management for Onion Farmers in the Philippines is a project of the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation with co-financing from East-West Seed Company (EWSC) and KFW DEG which seeks to equip onion farmers with new skills and knowledge through sustainable solutions that can help enhance the quality yield of their produce.