LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: The supply of strawberry is seen to dwindle in the coming months with the reported inadequate volume of runners to be planted by hundreds of growers in the coming season.
Mayor Romeo Salda, however, said the municipal government has coordinated with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the importation of sufficient strawberry runners for the increasing number of growers.
Salda added the local government also earmarked P1 million to address the gap in the projected supply of strawberry in time for the staging of the town’s Strawberry Festival in March 2020.
“We lost contact with those who had been providing us with imported strawberry runners from California, thus we are trying our best to look for other contacts that could provide us with the needed supply of strawberry runners for our growers,” he said.
Aside from losing contact with the previous suppliers of the strawberry runners overseas, the local chief executive claimed some varieties of strawberry in California were allegedly contaminated with virus.
Local strawberry producers are setting their sights on other areas where the local government could import virus-free runners for the coming planting season.
Salda said with the assistance of DA, the local government intended to import virus-free Sweet Charlie and Chuga strawberrry varieties, which have been proven to be suitable for the prevailing condition in the municipality.
Despite the challenges the local government is encountering, Salda remained optimistic the projected additional planting supply would arrived in time for the planting season.
La Trinidad is the major producer of strawberry in the country considering the nearly 1,000 hectares of strawberry plantations in the different barangay (villages). The farms are popular among tourists wanting to experience strawberry picking.