LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government is currently working on all possible means to produce substantial runners of the Chinese varieties of strawberry to be distributed to the interested farmers to ensure mass production of the same.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda claimed one of the means to ensure the availability of the Snow White strawberry runners is through tissue culture but it seems the Benguet State University (BSU) does not have the appropriate equipment for the said purpose.
However, the town executive added that some interested individuals and groups are trying to assist the municipal government for the possible importation of the necessary equipment from China for the use of the tissue culture experts in producing runners of the Chinese strawberry varieties that have been initially found to thrive in the locality.
“We are working on some options to make sure there will be available runners of the Chinese strawberry varieties for interested farmers to experiment on their suitability in the strawberry farms so that the local government can consider the same for long-term distribution,” Mayor Salda stressed.
Salda claimed the Snow White Chinese strawberry variety given to him are doing well and are now producing limited fruits which are quite similar to the quality, texture and taste of the strawberry varieties produced by the farmers in the different plantation sites.
According to him, the local government will coordinate with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) on the availability of its tissue culture equipment produce more runners of the Chinese strawberry varieties so that farmers will have more options to select from for the next cropping season considering the rapidly growing demand for strawberries by the increasing number of visitors frequenting the municipality.
Mayor Alda admitted strawberry production remains one of the major agricultural produce in the municipality because of the introduction of additional varieties and putting in place of state-of-the-art production technologies to produce the town’s signature fruit the past several decades.
He assured agriculture industry stakeholders the local government will continue venturing on relevant partnerships with local and international groups to advance the state of agriculture in the municipality not only for strawberry production but also for cutflower, vegetables and other agricultural crops to improve the livelihood of agriculture-dependent households.
He said the town’s cutflower and strawberry production had been robust over the past several years enticing more people from other parts of the country to frequent the capital town and have the first-hand experience of picking strawberries aside from having a glimpse of the vast tracks of cutflower plantations in other parts of the locality.
Aside from working on the tissue culture of the Chinese strawberry varieties, Salda reported the municipal government is also working on the importation of the runners of the Sweet Charlie and Chuga strawberry varieties to provide diversity of varieties available for farmers which in the long-term with create robust production.