They shed tears of joy, thanks to the onions.
The town of Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro celebrated a bountiful onion harvest with its first-ever Onion Harvest Festival held at Nico Busto Farm in Sitio Tinawagan, Brgy. Poblacion.
The festival aims to honor the efforts of the farmers who invested their blood, sweat, and tears to ensure a sufficient supply of onions not only for Magsaysay but also for other provinces in the country.
House Representative Leody F. Tarriela acknowledged the role of the farmers in the country’s food security, recognizing the province as the second top producer of onions next to Nueva Ecija.
“Ang onion festival na ginagawa natin ngayon ay pagkilala sa industriya ng pagsisibuyas dito sa bayan ng Magsaysay at pagbibigay-pugay sa mga magsasaka na dugo’t pawis ang puhunan para masigurado na sapat na ani na isusuplay [na sibuyas] sa iba’t ibang probinsya sa bansa,” Tarriela said.
In line with supporting the onion industry, Tarriela also announced that his office will be implementing programs such as farm mechanization, developing farm-to-market roads, and provision of planting materials with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to strengthen the onion industry.
The Onion Harvest Festival not only celebrated the good harvest but also recognized the efforts of the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) in assisting onion farmers.
The MAO provided 4,306 cans of seeds worth P7.6 million, foliar fertilizers, armyworm traps, and technical training to support the farmers. To empower onion growers, the farmers were also enrolled in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to provide a safety net when unforeseen emergencies arise.
Eden Frange, a farmer from Sibalat, expressed her gratitude for the interventions provided by the MAO.
“Nakabawas sa gastos namin kasi imbis na bibili pa kami ng mga fertilizer at binhi, nakatipid kami. Maganda ang ani, doble ang kinita namin,” Frange said.
During the festival, each of the 180 farmers in attendance was given a can of 400-gram onion seeds.
The festival was attended by representatives from the local government unit led by Mayor Cesar M. Tria Jr. and DA Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer Eddie D. Buen.