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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Mayor Romeo K. Salda urged the administration of the State-run Benguet State University (BSU) to embark on the establishment of a tissue culture laboratory to help provide local agriculture stakeholders to produce runners to sustain a sufficient supply of agricultural crops being sold in different markets inside and outside the province.
The municipal chief executive stated that local strawberry farmers are encountering difficulties in the producing a sufficient volume of runners that could sustain the supply of strawberries in the municipality next year as importing strawberry runners has become difficult.
He added BSU should set up a tissue culture laboratory to facilitate the production of additional strawberry runners for farmers to avoid the possible shortage in the supply of strawberry during the town’s |Strawberry festival by March next year.
“It is unfortunate that BSU does not have the appropriate equipment and tissue laboratory to help our strawberry farmers produce additional planting materials for this coming planting season as it is now difficult to import such runners,” Mayor Salda stressed.
While the municipal agriculture office is making the necessary representation with the agriculture department and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) on how to help provide the strawberry runners for the farmers, the municipal mayor recommended to BSU to consider his proposal for the higher education institution to invest on a tissue culture laboratory that can guarantee a sufficient volume of runners for various agricultural crops as the school’s corporate social responsibility for the province’s agriculture sector.
Aside from the fact that the municipal government lost contact with the people who had been providing assistance for the importation of strawberry runners of the Chuga and Sweet Charlie varieties from California, Mayor Salda claimed there were earlier reports that there were some areas in the same state with allegedly virus-infected strawberries hindering the possible importation of the said runners to avoid contamination of local strawberries.
He disclosed the municipal government is assisting the strawberry farmers in looking for healthy runners for the coming planting season to ensure a sufficient supply of strawberries by early next year for the successful conduct of the town’s Strawberry Festival as it is the main product of the municipality being frequented by visitors.
Salda encouraged the strawberry farmers to continue reproducing runners while the municipal government is also doing its best to look for additional supply of healthy runners for them to ensure there will be abundant supply of strawberries next year to sustain the robust growth of the local tourism industry.