LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan. 22 (PIA) -- Fresh strawberries from the strawberry capital will become better and fresher with the new technique introduced to the farmers.
The municipal government of La Trinidad on Thursday launched the “One Touch Strawberry”, a new method in harvesting and packaging strawberries to maintain the fresher quality of the fruit straight from the farm.
At least 200 farmers from the Swamp Farmers Association received new recyclable crates and canisters from the municipal government led by Mayor Romeo Salda, Vice Mayor Joey Marrero, Councilor Nestor Fongwan Jr. and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist headed by Felicitas Ticbaen during the launching ceremony held at the Strawberry Fields.
Ticbaen said the concept of the One Touch Strawberry is part of the product development for value addition and post-harvest handling of strawberry produce with proper packaging. Through the program, strawberry produce will be packaged immediately once harvested by the producers or even tourists who want to experience strawberry picking. She said that once harvested from the plot or farm, the produce will be immediately placed in the recyclable canisters which will help protect the fruit and maintain its freshness.
At the moment, most strawberry farmers double or even triple handling their produce which causes strawberries to easily rot or perish particularly when being transported by tourists or consumers to other places.
“From the farms, the farmers harvest their produce and placed in baskets and then transported to their stalls where it is sorted and repacked in smaller boxes or even plastic bags and this reduces the quality and freshness of the strawberry produce,” Ticbaen said.
Salda said the One Touch Strawberry is under the Bottom-up Budgeting: Yaman Pinoy Project Package of enhancement capability building for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises development cum livelihood assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Aside from preserving the strawberries to have better quality even when transported, the sweetness and crispiness of the strawberries will also be preserved naturally with the containers. This will also improve the packaging of the strawberries from the farm itself without being sent to other post-processing or production processes, the mayor said. Redjie Melvic Cawis (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)