IPS GROW ORGANIC STRAWBERRY IN ILOCOS HIGHLAND

IPS GROW ORGANIC STRAWBERRY IN ILOCOS HIGHLAND

ADAMS, Ilocos Norte — Poised to become Ilocos Norte’s fruit bowl, a small town of Adams, Ilocos Norte is now growing organic strawberries, apart from other exotic fruit varieties like lychees, rambutan, lansones, dragon fruit, tamarind and bugnay (wild black berries) among others.

Starting from an array of organic soil beds mulch with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) community here, most of them migrated from Mountain Province brought along with them some traditional farming practices enhance by modern organic farming and planted what they used to plant in the highlands.

Among these include strawberries which are in season today.

Dr. Bielmaju Bawingan, chairperson of the municipal tourism council of Adams, said that from the 400-sqm. experimental farm lot they planted with strawberries beside the Adams’ winery of exotic fruits and distilled spirits, they are now planning to expand about a hectare production area dedicated for organic strawberries here.

According to Bawingan, the first few runners of sweet charlie variety was brought by the Bago tribe who migrated to Adams in 1997 just to test if it grows in the area.

“I got 30 potted strawberry mother plants in March 2015 and from that, I was able to raise 2,500 runners,” she said.

Earlier, the IPs here engaged in an organic production of upland vegetables with the help of trainors from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna and later on from the Benguet State University who showed them the technology.

These were also tried on a small-time organic strawberry production employing diversified farming systems and using whatever available agricultural farm wastes in the area.

To date, the local IPs here are also growing various exotic fruit trees and indigenous plants. During the fruit season, they also processed it into tropical fruit wines. Among the famous best-seller products of Adams town include bugnay (wild berry), tapuey, roselle, passion fruit and dragon fruit topical wines along with other local processed products such as lemon grass concentrate, cacao tablea and turmeric soap among others. PNA/northboundasia.com