Abra upland farming project yields bountiful harvest, may soon compete with Benguet veggies
BAGUIO CITY — Seeing huge opportunities in the increased demand for locally-sourced fresh vegetables during the pandemic, Abra intensified developing its upland agriculture by extending assistance to local farmers.
Now with the effort starting to bear fruit, the province sees its huge potential to compete with Benguet in upland vegetables production.
“These baby-steps have succeeded,” beamed Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos, after at least 385 kilos of cabbage and 181 kilos of sayote were brought to the market from November 2020 to January 11 this year alone.
The upland vegetables were produced by 35 farmer-beneficiaries of the Upland Vegetable Production and Marketing Project jump-started in Nagpaoaya, Subagan, Licuan-Baay by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of the Abra provincial government in July last year.
According to Gov. Bernos, the production on cabbage alone has reached 1.5 tons or 15,000 kilos since October last year. Farmers were also able to produce a ton of snap beans and 600 kilos of sayote.
The project started with a one-hectare sayote farm, 2 hectares for cabbage, 1.5 hectares for snap beans.
For now, the homegrown produce of the farmer-beneficiaries is only sold at the Lagangilang town market and Bangued public market at the provincial capital.
But the positive result has inspired the provincial government to consider replicating the project all over the upland areas of Abra, especially in areas with climate condition similar to northern Benguet.
During the hardest onslaught of the pandemic last year that prompted lockdowns and strict quarantine protocols that made food deliveries across provinces difficult, the Abra government initiated plans to produce its own food supply by supporting local farmers.
“We provided everything from seeds, planting materials and fertilizers including technical training,” Gov. Bernos said.
The provincial government provides assistance up to bringing the products to Abra markets.
The effort is beginning to pay off, said the lady governor, seeing the huge potential of her province’s upland agriculture that could soon be at par with northern Benguet, still the country’s biggest producer of highland vegetables.
Abra beans, Abra cabbages, Abra sayote, soon. ●