Strawberries Snow White P800, Sweet Charlie (red), P520 per kilos

LA TRINIDAD, BenguetSnow White variety of strawberry produced in this capital town is fast becoming the fad of foreign and domestic visitors, local farmers claimed. Tourist arrivals especially in the town’s Strawberry Fields in Barangay Betag have increased compared to previous months, local farmers and entrepreneurs further said. The report is supported by municipal officials together with the local tourism and agricultural offices, respectively.

To sustain the production of quality strawberries and promote the One Town-One Product program and to keep La
Trinidad as the Strawberry Capital of the country, Search for the SWEETEST and HEAVIEST STRAWBERRY was held on Friday (March ??. Lady farmers Jocelyn Baniaga and Divina Paguli both from Barangay Betag won recognitions for producing the sweetest strawberry fest, besting 32 other entries.

While Jimmy Beligan and Pedro Galaycan topped the Heaviest strawberry competition, beating 24 others. Baniaga impressed the judges in the Sweet Charlie variety while Paguli won in the sweetest Open category, and each received P6k as cash incentive. ‘ A lucky day, what a moment to celebrate Women’s Month, said Baniaga in the local dialect.
‘ I did not expect to win. I joined the competition only to demonstrate our support to our town’s Strawberry Festival,’
said Paguli in the vernacular.

Beligan’s Sweet Charlie variety entry weighs 59.33 grams to top said category while Galaycan prevailed in the Open
category with 46.666 grams. Each pocketed P6k for their triumphed. The 54 other individuals each took P3k as consolation prize for their participation in the Heaviest and Sweetest Strawberry of the major events in the annual Strawberry Festival. P40-Million Demo Farm Three-termer Mayor Romeo Salda disclosed that the final assessment for the establishment of a multi-million demo farm in Barangay Alno is on its final stage.

Salda said facilities to be established in the five-hectare lot are ultra-modern nursery for fruits– strawberry, ornamental and agro-forestry products, among others. Salda told Amianan Balita Ngayon during the Search for the SWEETEST and HEAVIEST STRAWBERRY on Friday. The local chief executive urged local farmers to organize themselves into association, once they are formed, he challenged them to come with a plan and submit to his office through the municipal agriculture office in order for them to avail more government assistance.

Likewise, Salda expressed his gratitude to local farmers and entrepreneurs for their continued support. Nida Organo for her part said ,to date, an aggregate of 37 hectares are planted with strawberries. A large portion are into Sweet Charlie red variety production and planted in flat-bed type. But elevated plantation, a newly introduced technology have significantly increased in span of years. However, reports of alleged unabated land conversion in this town continued to be threaten the production of strawberries as well as semi-temperate vegetables.

Primo Agatep/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon