A PHP190-million cold storage facility that will benefit onion farmers in Nueva Ecija is nearing completion and likely to be operational before the end of the year.
Rural Infrastructure Engineer Bon Alexis Guatato, of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), on Tuesday said the construction of the storage facility will be finished before the target completion despite the quarantine restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
At present, Guatato said the project is 91 percent complete.
He said pre-testing of technologies and systems of the facility will be done in the third or fourth week of October prior to its turnover in November this year.
Guatato said the cold storage will serve as a collection center where onions harvested from surrounding farms are to be sorted and packed in crates or bags by farmers.
“The cold storage facility was designed with precision to keep farm produce specifically onions to be stored at an ideal temperature,” he said.
Due to the lack of storage facilities, farmers are often forced to market their produce at a low price.
With the cold storage, farmers can store their produce longer, reduce post-harvest losses, and eventually obtain a good price.
The cold storage is seen to prolong the shelf life of onions up to seven months and will prevent crops from rotting early and restrain insects from infesting goods.
Funded by the DA-PRDP, the facility is being built in a 2,422-square meter lot in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija donated by the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magsisibuyas ng Nueva Ecija (KASAMNE) and has an initial capacity of 120,000 bags. (PNA)