LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan said farmers from the different parts of the province benefit from the annual conduct of the ‘Panagbenga’ or the famous flower festival of nearby Baguio City which contribute to the sustained growth of the local vegetable industry.
Fongwan expressed the gratitude of the province’s officialdom to the city government of Baguio for inviting provincial and municipal officials to actively participate in this year’s conduct of the flower festival, saying that the city’s crow drawing event has improved through the years and have established its permanent identity that has contributed in the marketability of agricultural crops produced provincewide.
“Our agriculture sector has always been the primordial beneficiary of the city’s crowd drawing event because foreign and domestic tourists usually patronize locally grown vegetables and flowers aside from the famous strawberries of the capital town,” Fongwan stressed.
He said Benguet, specifically the towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay, usually receive the overflow of foreign and domestic tourists that flock to Baguio City because of their desire to explore other potential tourist destinations near the city in order to maximize their stay in the Baguio and Benguet areas.
According to him, tourists also purchase locally grown vegetables, food products, strawberries and flowers that are produced in the province that contribute to the increase of markets for the produce of their farmers thereby translating to increased income for them.
Benguet is known to be the Salad Bowl of the Philippines as it produces at least 80 percent of the country’s supply of semi-temperate vegetables such as cabbage, carrots potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beans among others.
Fongwan said farmers in the province will continue to benefit from the influx of tourists to Baguio City because they will always bring with them local products, such as vegetables, handicrafts and other food products, when they go back home to their places of origin.
The governor expressed support to the recommendation of the Tourism Information and Promotions Board (TIPB) for the conduct of year-round crowd drawing events in Baguio City and even in nearby municipalities of Benguet in order to sustain the influx of visitors that will contribute in also sustaining the growth of businesses which will spur economic growth that will cascade to the vegetable-producing communities.
Fongwan said what also contributed to the good harvest of farmers that allowed them to have sufficient supply of agricultural crops for the Panagbenga season is the absence of any weather disturbance that affected vegetables that were supposed to be on their vegetative and flowering stages late last year that is why there was sufficient supply at the start of the year.
Fongwan also called on the officials and residents of Baguio City to also join future crowd drawing events in the province and the different municipalities to further strengthen the bond that they were able to nurture through the years so that more people will be enticed to join future crowd drawing events.
By Dexter A. See