Shortage of strawberry supply likely

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The supply of the famous strawberry is seen to dwindle in the coming months with the reported inadequate volume of runners to be planted by hundreds of growers in the coming planting season.

However, Mayor Romeo K. Salda said the municipal government has coordinated with the agriculture department for the importation of sufficient strawberry runners for the increasing number of growers to address the gap in the projected supply of strawberry in the municipality in time for the upcoming celebration of the town’s Strawberry festival by March next year.

“We lost contact with those who had been providing us with imported strawberry runners from California thus we are trying our best to look for other contacts that could provide us with the needed supply of strawberry runners for our growers,” Mayor Salda stressed.

Aside from losing contact with the previous suppliers of the strawberry runners overseas, the local chief executive claimed some varieties of strawberry in California were allegedly contaminated with a virus thus local strawberry producers are setting their sights on other areas where the local government could import virus-free runners for the coming planting season.

Earlier, the local government earmarked some P1 million to import enough supply of strawberry runners from California in time for the planting season so that there will be sufficient supply of strawberry in time for the staging of the Strawberry festival in March 2020.

According to him, the municipal agriculture office started coordinating with the agriculture department to ensure that the municipal government will import virus-free strawberry runners from abroad to prevent the possible shortage in the supply of strawberry during the harvest season by the first quarter of next year.

He added the strawberry runners the local government intends to import include the Sweet Charlie and Chuga varieties which had been proven to be suitable for the prevailing condition in the municipality.

La Trinidad is the major producer of strawberry in the country considering the nearly 1,000 hectares of strawberry plantations in the different barangays.

Mayor Salda remains optimistic that despite the challenges the local government is encountering in the importation of additional strawberry runners for distribution to the farmers, the projected augmentation planting supply will be arriving in time for the planting season.

He claimed that strawberry farmers informed him they have inadequate supply of strawberry runners thus the municipal government is striving to get in touch with those who can  assist in bringing in additional supply of strawberry runners for the upcoming planting season.

Strawberry thrives best in the municipality and it is the most common fruit that frequented by visitors who want to experience the popular strawberry picking being offered to those who visit the strawberry farms.

By HENT

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