By Restituto Cayubit
More Leyte farmers are now into strawberry production after the growing of the high value crop—tested to be commercially viable in the hinterlands of this province—can now be commercially grown in the province.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla told Manila Bulletin that more farmers in the hinterland villages of Burauen and Jaro towns are now growing strawberries as one of the high value crops cultivated in their farms.
Petilla said that growing strawberry is new to the farmers and introduced only after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. As part of the recovery program, a series of trainings was conducted for the compact organic high value vegetable farming.
He added that the growing of strawberries was hatched during the series of trainings conducted by his office last 2014 to 2015 for the development of high value crops as part of the recovery program for victims of the super typhoon Yolanda.
He said that that strawberry was first grown in Villa Consuelo in Jaro town in sizable amount by the barangay captain, Alex Aborita, with positive results showing that strawberry production could be grown commercially in Leyte.
Petilla explained that when the farmers observed and were convinced on the viability and profitability of the strawberry production, farmers from other villages and those from the adjacent town of Burauen are now planting strawberries together with other high value crops.
Petilla said that with the development “we can say that strawberries can be grown in other towns on Leyte highlands especially in the interior parts of the province and I am optimistic that strawberry can be grown commercially not only in Jaro but also in adjacent towns along the Leyte highlands or mountain ranges,” Petilla said.
In another interview with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca, the latter said that the temperature in the highlands of Leyte or the mountain ranges is comparable with Baguio City.