DA turns-over greenhouse to Baguio farmers to boost strawberry industry; four more eyed this year

29 March 2021 – A newly-constructed greenhouse that will serve as a nursery for strawberry runner production was turned-over to a local farmers’ group by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) on March 24 at Purok 1, Irisan barangay, under its High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

Agriculturist II Marcelina Tabelin of the city veterinary and agriculture office (CVAO) said the structure, with a 245 square meter area, costs P543,244 to build and was fully funded by the DA under its HVCDP.

The project was granted to the Granjero De Oeste Organization, a group of small-scale farmers in Irisan barangay, that was chosen by the CVAO, she said.

Criteria used in choosing the organization include the availability of land on where the greenhouse is to be constructed and the stability and proper management of the organization.

Tabelin said four more greenhouses are targeted to be built under the DA program later this year at Mt. Sto. Tomas Central barangay and turned-over to two farmers groups in the area aimed at bolstering the Summer Capital’s strawberry industry.

The organizations are expected to propagate the strawberry seedlings or runners that will then be sold at reasonable prices to the public. Earnings will primarily benefit the families of farmers who are members of the group, she said.

Variety of the strawberry runners to be propagated is called San Andreas that ripens faster and has a longer fruiting season than other varieties, according to Tabelin.

Present during the activity were several City Mayor’s Office staff, city veterinary and agriculture office head Dr. Brigit Piok, a representative of councilor Philian Weygan Allan, other officials, barangay officers, DA personnel led by HVCP coordinator Eleanor Damot, and several journalists. – Gaby B. Keith