GARLIC is a profitable cash crop that can also be planted in Pangasinan but in moderate quantities during the dry season, according to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg).
OPAg officer-in-charge Dalisay Moya said this was borne out by technology demonstrations conducted by her office in different areas of Pangasinan during the past few months.
To date, garlic is a dominant cash crop in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur but not in Pangasinan whose dominant crops are rice and corn.
But based on the technology demonstrations, Moya said, planting garlic would be a profitable venture in Pangasinan.
She said if Pangasinan joins in the planting of garlic, it could help stabilize the price of this product.
However, Moya said the drawback in planting garlic is it will compete with corn and vegetables which are planted during the dry season.
The senate is presently investigating the abnormal increase in retail prices of garlic.
Meanwhile, Moya is pushing for the construction and establishment of cold storage plants not only for onion but other perishable high-value crops.
She said there is abundant supply of onion in Pangasinan during peak harvest season but because of lack of cold storage facilities, farmers are often forced to sell their onions early at a very low price.
With a storage facility available, farmers can store their onions yet after the peak harvest when the price of the commodity normalizes.
But the garlic products that are available are the imported ones with the locally-produced garlic already gone.
The price of onion anywhere in the country today has risen yet there are no locally-produced onion anymore, except the imported ones, Moya added. (Leonardo Micua)