Strawberry stays at P250/kilo

THE decrease of supply in strawberries have caused prices of strawberries sold in La Trinidad Strawberry Farm to increase at P250 per kilo while strawberry picking is set with P600 per kilo.

Municipal Agriculturist Felicitas Ticbaen said although the strawberry farm as been frequently visited, strawberry production remains low as they are also feeling the brunt of climate change.

Ticbaen added in a bid to address the low production, they are advocating proper post handling of strawberries.

"We would like to showcase the 'one touch technology' wherein there will be few handling of berry considering it’s very fleshy and delicate. Once they harvest, they would place it in the container, sort and directly placed it into the basket," said Jumy Buya, President of Federation of La Trinidad Valley Irrigators Association Inc.

Buya attributed the low production to the change of weather and the late planting season cause the decrease in the supply of strawberry.

At least 1,764 tons of strawberries are harvested within the 80 hectare plantation every six months. Peak of strawberry production is from March to April this year in time for the celebration of strawberry festival with ample supply of strawberries.

Buya added they are hoping the prices to maintain until the peak season, for farmers to recuperate their losses the previous months.

Buya added once the product is already with the consumer, there is less damage incurred. The advocacy is also geared to improve its post handling to maintain the quality of product.

Ticbaen meanwhile said they are planning to schedule workshops to ensure farmers adhere to good manufacturing practices, processing jams, candies, cake and wines for them to continue good manufacturing practices.

"We have to look for other technology innovations on how we would be able to produce more strawberry runners," Ticbaen added.