TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government supports the plan of a group of organic vegetable producers in the different barangays who were earlier trained by experts commissioned by the SM Foundation to establish a decent market for their produce along a strategic portion of Marcos highway to boost the marketability of organically-produced crops from the locality.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said the local government appropriated some funds for the purchase of the materials needed for the put up of temporary makeshift structures along a strategic portion of the roadline to serve as the vending area for the organically-produced agricultural crops of the farm nearby to help aggressively promote their produce and to establish a permanent market for such ropes.
Earlier, some 77 farmers from the different barangays of the town graduated from a training on organic farming conducted by SM Foundation as of its corporate social responsibility to improve the farmers’ lives through a sustainable market of their produce.
While SM Foundation will purchase a huge volume of their produce, the local chief executive pointed out the need to put up the proposed market stalls for organic vegetables to provide a venue for the farmers to sell the excess of their produce from that supplied to SM as added income for their families.
“We will try to build decent stalls and beautify the area along Marcos highway which will be a must-see place for residents and visitors alike, especially those patronizing organically produced vegetables” Mayor Rivera stressed.
He stated the local government is committed to extend whatever assistance to the different sectors of the municipality for them to advance their livelihoods as organic farming is one of the major sources of livelihood of the people living in the town’s 13 barangays.
According to him, the trained farmers want to increase their income with increased production for both high-end and ordinary consumers patronizing organically-produced vegetables directly harvested from the established organic farms in the locality.
Most of the families living in the different barangays rely on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood, aside from venturing on other economic activities focused on ecotourism and other allied services.
Tuba is a first class municipality that derives most of its income from its share from the national wealth tax and other local taxes paid directly to the local government by the Philex Mining Corporation, the largest gold and copper company operating in the country, with a projected mine life until 2022, thus, local officials are aggressively working on the development of other potential income-generating ventures that will replace the income gap when the large-scale mining operation will end.