PROMOTING vegetables in the highlands is being pushed through a weeklong festival.
Provincial Board Member Robert Namoro, committee chair on agriculture, crafted an ordinance purely concentrating on the promotion of the highland vegetable industry.
“The establishment of highland vegetable festival in Benguet will create an avenue for economic development in terms of tourism and commerce. With Benguet being the top producers of highland vegetable, we want to promote not only the raw vegetables,” said Namoro.
Namoro added during the proposed festival, several activities such as vegetable summit or congress, vegetable processing competition, packaging and salad competition, agro-industrial trade fair, commercial trade fair, parade, private stakeholders coordinated events the steering committee will identify which will be institutionalized through an ordinance.
A public hearing of the proposed law was set on April 2, as Namoro is looking at a date to absorb the spillover of other festivals such as the Baguio Flower Festival celebrated every February and the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival slated every March.
Benguet is known as the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines” being the major producer of highland vegetables. The province also hosts major trading posts including the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center and the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post located at the Benguet capital town.
In the proposed ordinance, an executive committee will be created to supervise the execution of all plans and preparations of the festival and a steering committee to determine and place the different events for the celebration.
A P1 million budget is being eyed for the proposed for the festival.
Violeta Salda, BAPTC Chief of operations said since the proposed festival will be funded by the government, this will be the first vegetable festival but the trading center had started on June 2018 the promotion of the vegetable industry.
“We have the Panagbenga, Strawberry, but we never give importance to the vegetables which is also main food security program. That (proposed ordinance) will help a lot to promote the vegetable industry of Benguet,” she added.
Namoro hopes to get the ordinance approved before the budget hearing of the province on October.