THE cold storage industry said its capacity is inadequate if the government intends to counter the onion shortage by building up inventories.

In a briefing on Monday, the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) estimated the required investment at P150 million for every 2,500 metric tons (MT) of onions held in storage.

It also estimated the import requirement at up to 360,000 MT, and warned that domestic supply will be close to depletion by the fourth quarter.

“Local production is estimated at 70% sufficiency, or a shortfall of about 100,000 metric tons, which can be covered either by improved agricultural productivity or imports,” CCAP said in its statement.

According to CCAP President Anthony S. Dizon, the private cold storage industry’s capacity is 600,000 pallet positions, used for commodities such as meat, dairy, and onions.

He noted the “obvious disparity between demand and capacity.”

“The government needs to develop and implement a holistic policy… to balance supply and demand and mitigate undue market volatility,” he added. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera