FOLLOWING two typhoons which hit farmers’ produce, preparation for strawberry production in Benguet Province continue.
Provincial Agriculturists Lolita Bentres and Jumy Buya of the Strawberry Farmers Association in La Trinidad said planting of strawberries starts.
La Trinidad, Mankayan, Kibungan and Tublay are the top strawberry producing town in the province, Bentres added.
Felicitas Ticbaen, La Trinidad Municipal agriculturist, said some farmers started harvesting already coming from other parts of the province and greenhouses in La Trinidad that were not flooded during the two typhoons.
“During the first quarter, January to April, harvest were available because we were not devastated by typhoons in the previous year. Categorically speaking, 21 tons per hectare were harvested in the first quarter. However, data for the first quarter will be affected, harvest supposed to be done this late November or December will not be able to attain the productivity of the strawberry because of the typhoon that passed,” adds Ticbaen.
Last week, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Council discussed the appropriation of P3 million for the 2,250 affected farmers in the strawberry town.
The fund hopes to provide basic needs of farmers, including the purchase of seeds, fertilizer, plastic coverings and nets.
At least 18 to 21 tons per hectare of strawberry are being harvested in La Trinidad every month during peak season.
Ticbaen added strawberries are currently sold at P250 to P300 per kilograms as farmers prefer to plant sweet Charlie variety.
Barangay Betag remains the top strawberry producer in La Trinidad where tourists enjoy strawberry picking, farm tour and pasalubong centers.
Data from the municipal tourism office noted some 660 strawberry growers converge inside the 79.49 hectare lot inside the Benguet State University.