Onion, locally known as “sibuyas,” is probably one of the most indispensable culinary ingredients in the world. It is a favorite seasoning, and its pungent flavor and wonderfully sweet flesh make it an essential spice in countless recipes and savory dishes.

One of the challenges of onion farming is unfavorable weather conditions. A yellow granex onion variety called “Superex,” which has earned the moniker “ang submarine sibuyas,” is the leading variety of its kind in Nueva Ecija, the country’s top producer of onions. It has proven that it can withstand harsh rainy seasons while maintaining its excellent and firm bulb shape, productivity, and uniformity.

Members of KALASAG Farmers Producers Cooperative in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija have been planting and supplying Superex for years and are delighted by the uniform size and shape of its bulbs, impressive yellow to yellow brown skin color, and resistance to diseases such as Downey Mildew, Damping Off, and Purple Blotch.

According to Wencelito Gomez, general manager of KALASAG, Superex is an early maturing variety and can be harvested as early as 58 to 60 days after planting. Another notable characteristic he identified was its excellent skin quality and retention, with its double skin and thin closed neck. He also took note of the storage capability of Superex after six months, it still retains its natural color. Moreover, a one-pound tin of Superex seeds can yield around 321 bags of 25 kilos each. That would be more than 8 tons from just 1 pound of Superex seeds.

KALASAG supplies white onions to institutional markets such as supermarkets, food processors, and restaurants across the country. Sixty percent of the white onions produced by KALASAG come from the Superex variety.

Ramgo International Corporation, one of the pioneer seed companies in the country, recognizes the essential role onion plays in every Filipino kitchen cupboard, and supplies local farmers with Superex seeds.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s September 2017 issue.