LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Tourists are up against high prices of strawberries here sold at P400 per kilo and P600 per kilo for strawberry picking.
Jumy Buya, president of the Federation of La Trinidad Valley Farmers Irrigators Association, said prices of strawberry were affected by the supply of planting materials which were destroyed previously by Typhoon Ompong.
However, Buya added farmers continue to adopt to different technologies including the use of greenhouses to cope up with the supply.
Most farmers also shifted to planting alternate crops such as lettuce during rainy season, added Buya.
At the strawberry farm, Farmer Divina Pagoli said strawberries are sold at a fixed price of P400 with the strawberry picking for tourists still at P600.
“Nasira yung planting materials namin kay Ompong kaya di gaanong maganda yung tinanim namin. Ang productivity namin sa strawberries ay kaunti lang,” added Pagoli.
Previously, prices of strawberries were sold at P250 per kilo.
Strawberry farm is part of Barangay Puguis and Pico. The 16 barangays in La Trinidad are urged to plant strawberries because it is the One town, One product of the town.
Planting season starts September but shifted to October and by December marks harvest season in time for the month of March for the celebration of Strawberry festival of Benguet capital town.
La Trinidad supplies strawberries to Baguio Public Market and markets in Manila.
In 2018, 1775 metric tons of strawberry were harvested in 79.49 hectares with an average of 22.5 tons per hectare or 1.7 million kilograms.
There are 660 strawberry farmers with 114 producers of strawberry wine, jam and other related goods. (With a report from Aira Quiliza/University of Cordilleras intern)