Valley launches Strawberry Festival

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Monday, March 10, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Formal launching of the 34th Strawberry Festival kicked off activities for the annual town fiesta.

Mayor Edna Tabanda with municipal officials led the baring of activities for this year's celebration themed: "Breaking Ground for Sustainable Agro – Tourism," focusing on the abundant produce the town has as an anchor for a thriving tourism industry.

"We have to strengthen our high value crops and grow organic vegetables to have safe, delicious fruits and vegetables here," Tabanda said.

She advocated good agricultural practices for the Valley to produce safe vegetables as she promoted the town’s top products.

There are 76 hectares in the Valley dedicated to berry farming. At the strawberry fields alone, a vast 38 hectare planting field for berries owned by the Benguet State University holds the biggest yield, a reason why farmers fight tooth and nail to have a spot on the coveted fields.

The province capital, La Trinidad, has kept the moniker for its fresh berries and stamped its recognition with a Guinness World record for the largest strawberry cake in the 2005 and is known to have a thriving vegetable and strawberry industry.

In La Trinidad, almost 60percent of the revenue is from cut flower production, almost 20% is from vegetable production, and the remaining 10% is from strawberry production.

A traditional “Owik” will be presented on March 18 as an offering of thanks with the opening of the agro industrial trade fair.

Sports activities will also be featured as well as various landscape competitions spearheaded by the private sector.

The festival will feature an arts and photo exhibition with a basic photography class and basic drawing and painting lessons in a bid to promote the arts.

This year’s celebration will do without the parade as well as the strawberry wedding.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 11, 2014.

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