With the theme, “Sustaining the vegetable industry for a vibrant economy,” the celebration will run from July 10-12 at the Municipal Gym.
Anchored on Municipal Ordinance Number 31-2018 declaring second week of July of every year as the Highland Vegetable Industry Week in the municipality, the event aims to unify all stakeholders and celebrate the industry’s contribution to the socio-economic development of the town and likewise secure its status as the highland vegetable trading capital of the region.
The three-day activity spearheaded by the local government is in partnership with the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area, Inc. (LTVTAI).
Newly elected Congressman Nestor Fongwan will be the guest speaker during the opening program on July 10.
After the program, the organic vegetable honesty stand will be launched. Felicitas Ticbaen, head of the Municipal Agriculture Office, said this is a double-door chiller which contains freshly processed and ready-to-eat highland veggies to be installed within the municipal building.
The store will be unmanned and payment is based on the honesty of the buyer as nobody will assist in the payment, said Ticba-en. She encouraged buyers to bring along loose change to enable them to pay the exact amount.
The project is in partnership with La Organica, an association of organic practitioners in the town and coursed through the town’s employees cooperative.
An agro-bazaar will also be opened to showcase vegetables and processed products.
In the afternoon will be a farmers’ forum at the Municipal Gymnasium. Among the lined up topics are updates on highland value crop development program (HVCDP) to be discussed by Department of Agriculture HVCDP Coordinator Joan Bacbac; updates from the office of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority by FPA Agriculturist II Rowena Billig, and updates on organic agriculture by Organic Agriculture Philippines Focal Person Lilibeth Paraoan.
Farmers and truckers will also have an audience with Fongwan on the food lane concerns in the transportation of produce.
An edible mini urban garden, a landscape of vegetables, herbs adorned with ornaments, upcycled materials and natural and other accessories will also be showcased starting July 10 as part of the competitions.
The mini garden landscaping of at least six square meters is a showcase of urban gardening towards food security which is possible to make even in urban areas with limited space.
The highland vegetable agri-skills competitions will take place July 11 with prizes courtesy of the League of Association at the LTVTAI.
Competitions include vegetable carving contest, vegetable salad making, vegetable pizza making, vegetable fun run, folk media contest, vegetable “pinaka” contest, musical solo contest.
The contests are open to barangays and all associations or groups of the various trading posts in town on a first come, first serve basis for the first 10 entries except for the “pinaka” contest, according to Ticba-en.
For the carving contest, the organizers will provide the vegetables such as carrots, raddish, sayote, cucumber, sugar beets, potatoes. Contestants will bring their own carving materials.
The vegetable salad making will be on-the-spot but contestants must bring their pre-washed vegetables and dressing.
Contestants to the vegetable pizza-making will have to bake the recipe at home and bring it with them during the competitions on July 11.
The vegetable “pinaka” contest is open to all farmers whose products will be prepared and on display before 7:30 am on July 11. “Pinaka” categories may be the biggest or heaviest or longest but of good shape and of natural color.
The Vegetable fun run is open to senior citizens and guests who are given the opportunity to get vegetables of their choice with minimum of five kinds.
For the folk media contest, it may be a drama, skit or a combination which entertains at the same time educational.
The musical solo contest must represent each barangay or association of the trading posts in the area. It must be an original composition in English, Tagalog or the local dialect such as Ilokano, Kankana-ey or Ilokano.
On July 12 at 12 noon will be the serving for free of fresh salad out of highland veggies which can serve around 3,000 to 4,000 people. Vegetables and ingredients will weigh about 600 to 800 kilograms, said Tisane.
The event is expected to be a yearly undertaking of the town to foster and sustain stakeholders’ role in the development and promotion of the town not only its economic but tourism development as well. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)