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Peak Season for Korean Onion

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Highest-Quality Onion Produced with Cutting Edge Sorting and Storage Facilities

In Korea the onion harvest is close to ending in early June. Harvested onions are placed in low-temperature storehouses where they remain for a long period of time. Eventually the stored onions are released onto the market for consumption, and as they are produced in such abundance they will sell until the harvest time comes around the following year.
The story of onion cultivation in Korea is not too long. It is known that onions seeds were introduced into Korea in the early 1900s, but it was over a half century later in the 1960s that onions started to be mass cultivated. Although the history of onion cultivation in Korea is relatively short compared to that of western world, now onions have became one of staple mass produced crops in the country. The main onion-producing areas in Korea are South Jeolla Province and South Gyeongsang Province. Of these regions Muan, in South Jeolla Province, is a representative area where some 17% (as of 2008) of Korean onions are produced.

Muan has just the right weather and soil conditions for onion cultivation. Facing the coastline of the west sea, even the winter weather in Muan is mild and therefore good for growing onions. In addition, it’s cool when onions begin to gestate so the fiery bulb grown in the area becomes harder and crispier and has a more succulent taste. The flavor of the onions is hugely affected by the soil in which the vegetable grows. Muan is a hilly area that is covered with reddish-yellow soil that when analyzed is shown to contains various minerals including calcium, iron, natrium, potassium, and magnesium - all of which are very important to determine the flavor and quality of onions.

Furthermore, as Muan is the major onion-producing area, onion producers’ groups are solidly organized there using, as they do, many low-temperature storehouses that boast state-of-the-art facilities.

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The production and marketing of Muan onions is highly organized. Mongtan Nonghyup secures more than 95% of Muan onions through contract cultivation, and it offers onion-production technology to contracted farmers on a regular basis and provides fertilizers and farm machinery in order for them to produce superb-quality onions in an eco-friendly way.

As for the onion seeds, Mongtan Nonghyup makes it a rule to select the best variety of seeds through deliberate discussion with the contracted farmers. In 1999 Mongtan Nonghyup established an onion processing and distribution center which is equipped with low-temperature storage, onion-gathering depot, and sorting depot.

The onions need to be properly stored for a long period of time before they are put on the market. Therefore, making extra efforts in the storing is a must. Mongtan Nonghyup stores Muan onions in containers dedicated solely to the onion-storing. Installed with an air-circulating device, the containers maintain quality of onions to be the same as immediately after the crop is uprooted. When it comes to export, Mongtan Nonghyup conducts thorough quality control. It carefully screens the size of the onions and only those over 6.5 cm in diameter can be exported. Also labels are attached to each onion packages showing the place of origin and quality.

Onions are one of medicinal crops with an extreme longevity of human consumption and medicinal use. It has been over 4,000 years since humans started eating onions, and since the ancient Egyptian times onions have been used as a medicine. It is recorded that the bulbous crop was a vital ingredient in making dishes to be served to the slaves who were mobilized and paid to build the magnificent pyramids. Having a sweet and refreshing taste, the vegetable has mainly been used to make sauces or eaten raw, but after it was found that some elements in the virtuous crop can help prevent adult diseases, the number of people who want to eat the crop as a health food has been growing.     

Onions can help prevent diabetes, control high blood pressure and therefore heart disease, arteriosclerosis, liver and bowels conditions, and even in containing cancers. Onions also contain some substances that improve the conditions like insomnia, cataract, eye fatigue, knee pain, cold, backache, constipation, and fatigue.

However, beneficial though onions assuredly are, it is definitely not advisable to eat too much of the vegetable. With the aim of taking in as many wholesome elements of onions as possible with no yuck, Koreans make onion juice. With the pungency got rid off, whilst maintaining the useful elements intact, the juice is convenient to drink. Partaking of it regularly can be a great help in staying healthy.   

Inquiries  NH TRADING                            

Tel  +82-2-2220-2300                             

 Fax  +82-2-470-1973          

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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