As the “fruit basket” of Benguet, the town of Sablan has acknowledged it needs to plant more fruit trees to stay true to its moniker.
Mayor Alfredo Dacumos, Jr. said the municipality is planning to develop its 10-hectare lot at Payda in Bayabas barangay to be planted with a variety of fruit-bearing trees.
Dacumos said they will allot 5,000 square meters of the lot for every variety of fruit that will be planted.
“What we did was to hire five contract of service personnel and their job was to develop the municipal farm, which will be planted with various fruit-bearing trees,” Dacumos said.
The municipality plans to propagate banana, papaya as well as fruit-trees from Mindanao like durian and marang, which are successfully grown in the municipality.
It will also try to plant other fruit varieties in Sablan, which has a middle to low elevation being in the boundary of Benguet and La Union.
Dacumos said the municipal farm would also host the nursery for seedling propagation of fruits, which can also be a source of local residents to plant in their own lots for their livelihood.
There are efforts to propagate more of the endemic banana which is a variety of lakatan grown in the municipality. The local lakatan, has a sweeter taste and has an almost orange color as compared to the more yellow-colored banana variety.
The Municipal Agricultural Office is coordinating with the Department of Agriculture and other agencies that could help the office in fruit-tree propagation as well as researching for the best fruit-trees to be adopted in the municipality.
Sablan recently celebrated its annual Fruit Festival from Aug. 7 to Sept. 4 with various activities geared towards the promotion of the bounty of the municipality. – Ofelia C. Empian