Leyte starts commercial growing of strawberries

Primo A. Cayubit (The Freeman) - April 16, 2016 - 10:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines  — Strawberry plants can now be commercially grown in this province, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla told reporters in an interview earlier this week.

Strawberry, which has never been grown here before, is now planted by the farmers in Barangay Villa Consuelo and its neighboring barangays in Jaro town, said Petilla.

He added that one of the farmers who cultivate strawberry in substantial amount in the barangay is Villa Consuelo Barangay Captain Alex Aborita, who is incidentally the the farmer’s association federation president in the town.

Petilla said strawberry can be grown in other towns in Leyte’s highlands, especially in the interior parts of the province. 

“We have now proven that strawberry can be grown in the interior barangays in the town of Jaro, and with this, I am optimistic that strawberry can be grown commercially not only in Jaro but also in its adjacent towns along the Leyte highlands or mountain ranges,” he said.

The governor said the growing of strawberry in his province was hatched during the series of trainings on high-value crops production conducted by his office in 2014 to 2015 as part of the recovery program for the victims of the super typhoon Yolanda.

In another interview, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-8 Director Leonardo Sibbaluca disclosed that the temperature in Leyte’s highlands or mountain ranges is comparable to that of Baguio City, making it favorable for high-value crops to thrive.

The area’s temperature that reaches up to 18 degrees Celsius or even lower, especially during night time in the months of November to January, is conducive to strawberry cultivation.

As an edible fruit, strawberry is widely appreciated for its pleasing aroma, sweetness, juicy texture, and bright red color. It is consumed either fresh or as ingredient to other prepared foods such as ice creams, preserved fruit or juice, pies, etc.

Strawberry sold in the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc and Baybay are reportedly bought from Baguio City, making the fruit quite expensive.  (FREEMAN)


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