Albay kicks off Harvest Festival 2023 in Tabaco
By Cyryl L. Montales
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) through the Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) launched the Harvest Festival 2023 at the Provincial Organic Vegetable Experimental Station (POVES) Buang, Tabaco City on Wednesday, May 10.
APAO Head Cheryl O. Rebeta has expressed that the program aims to assist the farmers in the province to market their crops and produce, as well as make it more affordable for the residents of Albay.
‘’We have a series of crops planted at POVES, such as watermelon, cabbage, sweet corn, beans, bitter gourd, pepper, squash, tomato, and cucumber,’’ Rebeta said.
Albay Governor Atty. Edcel Greco Lagman highlighted that the activity also opens the opportunity for exportation.
‘’High-value crops, food hubs, and digital farming will increase yield by 200%. Opening up for export to the European Union, the agricultural products of Albayano farmers [will be] tax-free,’’ Lagman said.
Rebeta encouraged the public especially Albayano’s near the POVES to join their ‘Pick and Pay’ campaign from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM and bring home bunches of naturally- grown vegetables.
‘’They can visit here (at POVES) and harvest. They will pay the products lower than the market price since this is based on a farmgate price,’’ Rebeta said.
‘’Farmgate price is the exact amount that the farmers demand for their products,’’ Rebeta added.
She cited that they can buy watermelon in POVES P30 per kilo and P35 for cabbages.
The Harvest Festival is part of the Magayon Festival 2023 month-long celebration.
‘’Every Friday we will be putting up vegetable and fruit stands or stalls in the capitol premises. This is formalized via an Executive Order. [While] Weekend market stalls [will be placed] outside of POVES,’’ Lagman said.
The APAO will lead the Agri fiesta which will be held on May 29, 30, and 31.
‘’It will showcase the agricultural products of every Local Government Unit in Albay. We also have displays of agricultural products at the trading center of Albay Farmers Bounty Village, Camalig, Albay,’’ Rebeta said.
She noted that they have prepared several activities for the local farmers such as games and training wherein they will witness the methods in making the products from production and marketing up to the processing.
The APAO Marketing division also purchases the products of local farmers as part of their program.
‘’The purchased products will be sold to the consumers at a farmgate price,’’ Rebeta said. (PIA5/Albay)