February 2, 2023

BUGUIAS, Benguet – Potato farmers in the Cordillera stand to benefit from the variety trials being done by the Manpat-a Farmers’ Association in Balili, Mankayan and Seeds and Fruits Multipurpose Cooperative (SFMPC).
On June 26, members of SFMPC harvested their first crop using the trial potato varieties acquired by the Department of Agriculture through the Potato Industry Development Program of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board of Canada.
SFMPC Manager Ardan Copas declared the trial a success. “Our fellow farmers can adopt these varieties and may earn more money and recover previous losses,” he said.
SFMPC member Conio Copas said the new varieties yielded more than the traditional varieties they planted.
Eight varieties with potential in the Cordillera highlands were tried in Natubleng.
DA OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey said the project would be an avenue for the farmers to select varieties appropriate to reproduce. He said the DA is exploring the possibility of farmers producing their own seeds depending on whether it would be cheaper to produce seeds locally than to import them.
Farmer-cooperators received the seedlings in February.
HVCDP coordinator Joan Bacbac said the DA partnered with the farmer co-operators to do on-farm research and gather data on the new varieties.
She said the varieties will be planted in a second trial later this year where the farmers will do further research on the characteristics of these varieties. – Press release

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