Onion growers in Llano Grande in Cartago are preparing for their big onion harvest in February. But overall they are reporting that this year’s harvest in that region is slightly delayed than in other more typical seasons due to the low amounts of daylight that plagued the end of 2011.
On a visit with farmers and onion growers this week, Xinia Chaves Quirós, vice minister of Agricultura, promoted a plan to help local farmers by enforcing strict importation standards of agricultural products that may undermine the market for homegrown ones. The ministry officials will also monitor export quantities to make sure national needs are met first.
According to a report by the National Production Council, onions are indispensable in Tico cuisine. After rice and beans, and perhaps Imperial, the onion may be the No. 3 favorite Tico item to ingest. On average more than 3,080 tons of onions are consumed each month in Costa Rica, according to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.
Onions in Costa Rica are served pickled, fried, breaded, boiled, baked and raw, which helps to maintain the vegetables essential healthy components. The onion also reportedly has healing properties in combating diabetes, promoting respiratory function and fighting fungus and bacteria. Their oils can also be used internally or externally for therapeutic purposes, the Ministry reports.