May 27, 2020
LA TRINIDAD- Strawberries are abundant despite limitations due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Food passes have ensured that strawberry farmers could bring the popular summer fruit to markets, the agriculture department said.
Strawberries are one of the centerpieces of the Panagbenga Festival and La Trinidad’s Strawberry Festival.
Usually strawberry farmers earn a lot in summer, which is the tourist season. But the Panagbenga and Strawberry have been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
La Trinidad farmer Norman Manangwey thanked the DA for the food pass that allowed him to transport his produce to the market.
The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-NCR) set up an additional marketing platform through its Kadiwa Retailing, as well as collected orders from DA-CAR employees for strawberries.
Manangwey said he was able to sell 500 kilos in a month.
GAP (Good Agriculture Practices)- certified farms in Benguet -- namely Mugens Savers Farm owned by Jemore Alindayo in Buguias and Noel Palsaen’s strawberry farm, a member of the Madaymen GAP Association (MGAPA) in Madaymen, Kibungan have swamped the market with strawberries.
GAP-certified farms have been invited to participate in the Kadiwa Retailing, as well as supplying orders from DA-CAR employees getting them in bulk.
Alindayo has been rotating crops in his farm and started planting strawberries in November last year.
The DA-CAR provided a vehicle to Alindayo in transporting his produce. He has been delivering around 300 kilograms of assorted vegetables and strawberries every week to regular market outlets.
The DA has been issuing “food passes” to producers, suppliers, buying and delivering agri-fishery commodities or food products and go to and from or pass through Metro-Manila and other regions during the community quarantine period. DMS
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