TUBLAY, Benguet – The municipal government is working out a comprehensive plan to ensure a stable supply of organically-produced agricultural crops to meet the growing demand of the Manila market and tourists visiting the ecotourist destinations of the municipality and wanting to bring home organic vegetables.
Mayor Armando Lauro said the local government will closely work with the hundreds of organic farming practitioners to get their commitment of stable supply of organic vegetables not only for the available Manila market but also for their souvenir or pasalubong center near the municipal hall.
Earlier, former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who is assisting the municipality in the development and promotion of its ecotourism destinations, offered to the local government and other stakeholders a portion of the ABS-CBN complex in Makati city as a market area for organic vegetables produced by the farmers in the different parts of the municipality.
“We want to get the commitment of the stakeholders on the stable supply of organic vegetables to meet the rapidly increasing demand of organic vegetables not only in the municipality but also in the newly-offered market of our crops in Manila. We want to sustain the partnership we established with former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez as we have witnessed her passion in helping Tublay through various interventions,” Mayor Lauro stressed.
The town chief executive claimed there were some organic farmers who stopped producing organic vegetables because of the meagre income derived from the said mode of producing agricultural crops but there are still a good number of farmers who had embraced organic farming as their way of life, thus, the need to empower more farmers to practice organic farming considering the growing demand for organic crops in the market as many people have now become health conscious.
According to him, one of the areas of concern to be addressed by the local government and the stakeholders will be the pricing of organic vegetables so that farmers will be enticed and sustain their production of organic vegetables which are now being patronized in the local markets.
Lauro underscored there is also a need for stakeholders to provide the organic vegetable supply of the town’s pasalubong center so tourists visiting existing ecotourist destinations can purchase decently-priced organic crops from existing organic farms.
He emphasized that while it is true Tublay is a fifth-class municipality and totally dependent on the internal revenue allotment from the national government, it is important for the local government to maximize its existing resources to generate income that will help in improving the classification of the municipality, aside from providing sustainable sources of livelihood for its constituents without compromising the town’s state of environment.