TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government and its private sector partners continue to work on the provision of add-on attractions to ava or taro, one of its One Town, One Product (OTOP), to sustain the growth of the industry that will contribute to enhanced livelihoods for local farmers.
The ava pie and ice cream was offered by the local government and its private sector partners to the 2019 lucky summer visitors during the courtesy call they made to municipal officials led by Mayor Ignacio Rivera right at the municipal grounds here last Thursday.
Earlier, ava, or taro, was identified by the local government as its OTOP to help boost the production of the said rootcrop by the local farmers to provide adequate supply of ava during the town’s annual Ava festival every September.
“We continue to provide the necessary technical assistance to farmers from the different barangays who are interested in propagating ava to have sufficient supply of the root crop when we hold our annual Ava festival because we want our residents and visitors to enjoy the festivities with enough supply of the root crop which thrives well in the municipality,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
The municipal chief executive claimed that newly created ava pie and ava ice cream are added product from the root crop offered by private businesses to special visitors of the municipality for them to have a taste of their OTOP that comes in various forms.
According to him, the local government will introduce new innovations on the presentation of the ava during the annual Ava festival so that more farmers will be encouraged to propagate the root crop that will guarantee its availability in the market, especially when the private sector will need the same for the production of added products that will translate to the consumption of the said crop.
Rivera admitted that one of the problems encountered by the local government and its private sector partners in the conduct of the annual Ava festival every September is the reported inadequate supply of ava or taro which has significantly affected the promotion of the root crop but efforts are now being done to ensure that there will be sufficient supply of ava once the festival will be slated.
He said experts are also assisting the local government on innovations and additional products of ava to be promoted during the staging of the festival adding attraction for visitors to consider visiting the municipality.
Tuba is a first class municipality that relies on the operation of Philex Mining Corporation for its source of income, although it is also an agricultural town for being host to vast tracks of vegetable farms providing abundant supply of agricultural crops to the increasing number of consumers coming from the lowland areas.
Rivera emphasized the importance of improving the town’s agriculture sector as a catalyst for growth and development considering the bright prospects for agriculture in the different barangays as evidenced by the vast tracks of farms maintained by residents and those who were able to purchase properties in the locality.
Photos: The Ava pie and ice cream were featured during the 2019 Lucky Summer visitors’ stopover in the municipality. Armando M. Bolislis