Onion farmers call for assistance to access market

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AMID coronavirus fears in the country, farmers in Pilikambi, Laiagam in Enga harvested 500kg of bulb onions last weekend because they did not want their crops to go to waste.
The Laiagam bulb onion project coordinator Tony Sulupin said the size and quality of the crop was impressive with bulbs tripling in size due to the quality of the soil and climate.
Sulupin said some buyers, such as Tiniga Supermarket in Western Highlands, wanted medium-sized onions, but Laiagam onions were bigger than regular ones.
“We are doing trial plots taking into consideration spacing and fertiliser adjustments with the intent to reduce sizes to meet the buyer’s requirements,” he said. “Our onions are premium quality after going through heat drying or solar drying and ready for sale.
“Once we reduce sizes, I am sure we will beat any bulb onion supplier in Papua New Guinea.”
Sulupin said apart from Tiniga, there were markets in Port Moresby with farmers willing to transport their produce to the capital.
He said the major problem faced by farmers was the high freight costs.
“When the country’s economy picks up from the emergency lockdown, the Government should assist us in supply chain so that our fresh produce can reach the main centres where there is high demand,” he said.

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