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Philippines: Two universities eye vertical farms 'to solve onion scarcity'

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and two universities — Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) and Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) — have forged a research partnership to boost the onion supply in the country.

The rains in recent weeks have affected onion farmers, so "innovations and technology-based solutions" are needed to address the issue, said Karen Dañez, the provincial director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 3.

Prices of onion have reached as high as P700 (11,79 EUR) per kilo during the holidays due to a lack of supply. But should the innovations of the two universities succeed, they guarantee a continuous supply of onions all year round, mainly by planting the onions in a controlled environment, thereby increasing yield.

Both universities were given P3 million in grants to fund their research. For TAU they are experimenting with planting onions "vertically, using smart technologies" inside a greenhouse, as opposed to planting onions employing traditional farming methods. 

Read the entire release at ABS CBN News

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