THIS year's Higalaay started its festivities by filling the iconic Gaston Park of Cagayan de Oro City with the greenest produce of the city's farmers.
The Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show has officially opened to the public last Friday, August 3, an event wherein farmers and agricultural cooperatives were given the opportunity to showcase and earn from their produce during the month-long celebration of the festival.
“It was the first core event that we open. This is a month-long activity at the Gaston Park. It actually involves our barangays, usually the agriculture producing barangays that have activities pertaining to agriculture. And also the garden show, because we also have cooperatives that are into selling of plants,” Eileen San Juan, chairperson of the City Fiesta Executive Committee, said.
This year's agri fair and garden show has the biggest participation with farmers from 16 barangays; the CDO Barangay Food Terminals, a federation of 15 agri coopratives; the Indahag Barangay Food Terminal; the Agusan Barangay Food Termila, which is composed of fisherfolks; and five Rural Improvement Clubs (Barangays 40, Gusa, Iponan, Bulua, and Linangohan).
Participation of farmers from various barangays include; Barangays Tignapoloan, Dansolihon, Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Mambuaya, San Simon, Iponan, Tablon, Canitoan, Pagatpat, Bugo, Cugman, Baikingon, Lumbia, Indahag, and Bayanga.
“It provides showcase for the farmers. These are really for farmers who are given the opportunity to market their products. In fact, our City Agriculture Office really picked up their produce from their farm para madala dito (to be transported here),” San Juan said.
“The farmers themselves are really involved in the marketing of their products. It doesn't go through third party na traders so sila ang nandyan na (so they are) involve in the marketing,” she added.
According to San Juan, Gaston Park is an ideal venue for the event as it can accommodate all the participants as well as it’s close to the city hall and identifiable to church goers.
“Actually from the last years or previous years na agri fair, we have actually more barangays joining this year. So we have to set certain parameters on how they will be able to participate para naman (so that) there's order, and it becomes orderly and they are also enjoined to really keep the area clean,” San Juan said.
She shared that the income generated by the farmers from selling their produce and plants will be kept by them.
“That's why there are also more participating because the others have seen how they were able to gain from this activity. So napupunta sa kanila (the income goes to them),” the City Fiesta Executive Committee chairperson said.
San Juan also encouraged the public to visit not only the agri farm and garden show but also the upcoming events during the month-long celebration of the Higalaay Festival.