LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Stakeholders of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP) are finding ways to boost their produce and be competitive with the entry of imported vegetable.

Last July 13, they came up with a 1.3 ton giant vegetable salad that fed around 3,000 people during the trading post’s founding anniversary celebration.

Nora Ganase, president of the League of Associations of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area, said their group conceptualized and initiated the holding of the Giant Vegetable Salad event primarily to promote the highland vegetable industry which is affected by imported vegetables.

This is to further strengthen its hold as one of the tourist destinations in the valley.

Augusta Balanoy, marketing manager of the Benguet Farmers Cooperative, said the vegetable salad was one way of showcasing the vegetable industry of the province to its end market that may not be aware of the difference between locally grown and imported varieties.

“Highland vegetables have comparatively better taste than the imported ones and we want to let it be known that ours are crunchier and juicier,” Ganase said.

About two months ago, imported vegetables coming from China made its way to the local markets affecting especially carrots, said Balanoy.

The issue on vegetable importation is a problem besetting the local industry for years now. But there is nothing producers can do but to become competitive, said Ganase.

“We advise farmers to be competitive in their production and come up with bigger quality and better packaging,” she said. “The farmers are now more conscious and segregate the big from the small ones unlike where these were mixed together.”

Mayor Romeo Salda said the LTVTP contributes to the coffers of the local government P30 million yearly. (PIA)