LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government assured residents and visitors alike that there will be sufficient supply of strawberries in time for its peak season during the celebration of the town’s Strawberry festival by March next year.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda said that aside from the existing strawberry farmers in the popular strawberry farm, there are also strawberry farmers inside and outside the municipality who were able to plan strawberries that will be harvested in time for the peak season of strawberries, thus, the perceived insufficient strawberry supply will no longer be realized.
“We are now working on a long-term plan so that we will sustain the stable supply of strawberries in time for its peak season, especially during the celebration of our Strawberry festival by March next year. There are negotiations that are underway for us to be provided with sufficient supply of strawberry runners that will be planted by our farmers in time for its production season,” Mayor Salda stressed.
Earlier, the municipal council headed by Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan passed a resolution requesting Agriculture Secretary William Dar to extend the appropriate assistance to the municipality for the establishment of the appropriate local and international linkages to ensure the stability of the supply of strawberry runners so that strawberry farmers will not have a hard time sourcing out the same during the planting season.
The local chief executive underscored the importance of providing whatever technical and financial assistance to the concerned stakeholders considering that it is the lucrative strawberry industry that is one of the major drivers of the town’s economic growth and a key tourism driver over the past several decades.
According to him, the presence of other strawberry farmers in other parts of the municipality and other places in Benguet and Mountain Province will definitely help in stabilizing the supply of strawberries because they were able to plant in time for the projected harvest season aside from the fact that there had been no unusual weather disturbance that struck the region which could have caused a serious negative impact to the industry.
Salda expressed confidence that whatever required supply of strawberries during next year’s staging of the Strawberry festival will be provided apart from the requirement of the increasing number of visitors frequenting the municipality just to purchase strawberries.
La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet, has been known as the Strawberry Capital of the Philippines because of the presence of hundreds of hectares of strawberry plantation areas that supply the requirements of both residents and tourists alike.
He disclosed that there are strawberry farmers who are already harvesting at this time of the year while there are also farmers who were able to plant strawberries that will be harvested right in time for the celebration of the town’s Strawberry festival wherein the said fruit will be featured in various forms.
The municipal government considered importing strawberry runners bit issues on alleged proliferation of pests that attacked the same have constrained the municipality in exploring other possibilities that will ensure the stable supply of strawberries for its peak season.