Benguet farmers get potato seeds

BENGUET. Buguias Mayor Ruben Tindaan, together with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, harvest potatoes at the Bayoyo farms owned by John Sagpa-ey. (Photo by Jean Nicole Cortes)

BUGUIAS, Benguet -- Farmers in Benguet towns received 81 tons of potato seeds to multiply potato seeds that can be used for table consumption.

On Monday, July 15, Department of Agriculture officials led by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and representatives from the Universal Robina Corporation (URC) joined potato farmers from the town and Benguet officials in the potato harvest festival at Sitio Bayoyo, Barangay Buyacaoan, Buguias.

The event seeks to see the potential of the town in supplying the needed volume and quality of potatoes the snack company needs.

Seedlings of the granula variety were distributed earlier in March this year by URC and planted by farmers on April 5 to test the capability of the variety to the soils of the towns of Benguet.

Farmer beneficiaries include Hi-Land Farmers Marketing Cooperative, Seeds and Fruits Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Buguias Rural Waterworks Service Cooperative.

Vicky Yap, URC vice president, said the sustainable potato program is a collaboration with DA to help potato farmer community by giving quality seeds imported from Canada, trainings, and link to market.

She added 84 metric tons of potato seed were imported in Canada and distributed to Benguet, Davao and Bukidnon farmers.

As sister company of URC, Robinsons Supermarket will be tapped as one of the project partners to link and establish market access of potato farmers produce and market the potatoes sourced from the farmers.

URC will also be in charge of the provisions of seeds to the farmers and engage cooperatives to establish market for potatoes.

Augusta Balanoy of Hi-Land Farmers Marketing Cooperative noted 95% success rate and observed the potatoes are high yield and is expected to be sold higher by P5 to P7 per kilo compared to other varieties.

Farmers from Buguias Rural Waterworks Service Cooperative added out of 1,000 kilos seeds they received, 10,000 kilos of potatoes were produced.


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