BAGUIO CITY – Seeing huge opportunities during the pandemic, Abra intensified developing its upland agriculture potentially even competing with upland Benguet vegetables soon.
These baby steps have succeeded, beamed Governor Ma. Jocelyn Bernos, after at least 385 kilos of cabbage and 181 kilos of chayote were brought to the market from November 2020 to January 11 this year alone.
The upland vegetables were produced by 35 farmer-beneficiaries of the Upland Vegetable Production and Marketing Project jumpstarted in Nagpaoaya, Subagan, Licuan-Baay by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of the Abra provincial government July last year.
Actually, an agriculture-enthusiastic Gov. Bernos said, the production on cabbage alone have reached 1.5 tons (15,000 kilos) since October last year. Farmers were able to A ton of snap beans and 600 kilos of sayote
For now, the encouraging produce of the farmer-beneficiaries are reaching the Lagangilang town market and Bangued public market at the provincial capital.
Starting from a one hectare chayote farm, 2-hectares for cabbage, 1.5 hectare for snap beans, the noble beginnings can be replicated all over the upland areas in the province, added Gov. Bernos, hinting the provincial government is leaning towards it especially in areas similar to northern Benguet.
During the hardest onslaught of the pandemic last year that prompted lockdowns and strict quarantine protocols including food, the Abra provincial government thought of producing its own food supply. “We provided everything from seeds, planting materials and fertilizers including technical training,” Gov. Bernos said.
Up until marketing, the provincial government takes care of bringing the products to Abra markets.
The effort is beginning to pay off, said the lady governor, seeing the huge potential of her province’s upland agriculture that could be at par with northern Benguet, still the country’s biggest producer of highland vegetables.
Abra beans, Abra cabbages, Abra sayote, soon.
Artemio A. Dumlao