Sablan ’23 agri budget stands P1.595 million 


SABLAN, BenguetFarmers and fruit gardeners are all hopeful for abundant harvest as they look forward for a monthlong Fruit Festival celebration in September. For the first time, this annual festival will held for a month which is on its 9th edition. In a recent interview, Mayor Alfredo Dacumos Jr. said that preparations for the annual festival are upbeat; together with the different department heads, barangay leaders and some government regional line agencies to include agriculture, trade and industry, and tourism.

Mayor Dacumos said agricultural development is among his top priority programs, and line with it, they decided to hold the festival for a month to give more emphasis on its agro-tourism efforts, enhance product development and marketing. Farm tours will be among the highlight of the series of activities lined up including cultural and sports events, among others. Almost a year being elected mayor, his administration was able to request dry seeds and farm inputs such as fertilizers for their local farmers through the agriculture department’s rice program.

Also, different varieties of fingerlinks sourced from the fisheries bureau. Dacumos pointed out that
the various BLISTT road projects being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera will not only hasten public mobility but also hasten the transport of local goods. To sustain and also upgrade local banana production, the local chief executive added that a tissue culture program has been introduced by the Bureau of Plant Industry-Cordillera. Furthermore, to sustain their town’s eco-tourism initiatives, the development of a two-hectare demonstration farm area located at Sitio Payda, Barangay Bayabas is in full swing.

Initailly, ube being its onetown-one-product (OTOP) will be planted in the demo farm in co-operation with the Benguet State University. In fact, residents from nearby villages began clearing
the demo area under labor department employment program dubbed TUPAD, thus, generated jobs.
Rony Carlos, officer-incharge of the Municipal Agriculture Office said aside from the demo farm will also be planted with lanzones and rambutan,among others. Carlos said that under Dacumos leadership, some 48 local farmers have undergone training in organic farming in cooperation with Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation.

He added that a mini warehouse benefitting local rice farmers from the different barangays was also established at Sitio Jang-Jang, Barangay Bayabas. Carlos noted a marked improvement by local farmers in adhering to good agriculture practices (GAP) and organic farming. However, the official echoed the cry of local farmers for farm-to-market roads, especially those in geographically remote villages. For the record, the town’s agriculture budget this year (2023) is only P1.595 million, a far cry from its P4.928 million allocation in the previous year (2022).

Primo Agatep/ABN

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