BACOLOD

Banana takes center stage in La Castellana Festival

NEGROS. ONE of the booths showcasing various varieties of banana at the ongoing 22nd Banana Festival in La Castellana town, Negros Occidental. (Erwin Nicavera)

BANANA farmers and those of other crops in La Castellana are getting a boost at the 22nd Banana Festival, which opened at the southern Negros Occidental town Monday, April 1.

Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Manguilimutan, on the sidelines of the opening rites, said the five-day festival aims to promote the town's agricultural products especially banana.

Nicor-Manguilimutan said the festivity has become a venue for local farmers to showcase their products, raw and processed, and tap more potential markets.

“The annual activity also shows the craftsmanship of the people of La Castellana especially on how they set up their agro-trade fair booths,” she said, adding that for 23 years it has really improved through the cooperation of the barangays.

The festival is also positioned to enable farmers to generate more income, the mayor also said.

All 13 barangays, through their respective booths, showcased the products of their farmers mainly various varieties of banana.

Nicor-Manguilimutan said most backyard farmers are growing “sab-a” or the cardaba variety.

In fact, two years ago, farmers already started to process the crop into “sab-a" sticks, which has become their other source of livelihood.

Nicor-Manguilimutan said the Provincial Government, through a food technician, has tested the shelf life of the products, which are already sold in other localities in the province like Bacolod City.

“We continue to implement programs like product development and value-adding trainings to boost our banana industry,” she said, stressing the huge market for banana even locally.

Meanwhile, candidates of the Search for Banana Festival Queen 2019 were also presented during the opening rites.

Aside from the agro-trade fair, the festival is also highlighted by the street and arena dance competition on April 5.


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