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'Vegetable Bowl of Pangasinan' continues to reap bounty harvest.

Vegetable Bowl of Pangasinan' continues to reap bounty harvest !-- -- Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2018 - 12:00am VILLASIS, Pangasinan, Philippines This town maintained its status as the "Vegetable Bowl of Pangasinan" and its farmers continue to enjoy a bountiful harvest and good profit in the past two years despite some weather disturbances. Typhoon Ompong did not bring destruction to crops in Pangasinan, said municipal agriculturist Reynaldo Mundo.

Most of the production areas for off-season were hardly hit except those in low-lying areas and where rainwater goes, Mundo said. He said production areas for pinakbet products like eggplants, tomatoes, ampalaya, okra, siling haba, upo and patola stand at 1,000 hectares.

For eggplants alone, the production area is about 400 hectares. Mundo said the town has a year round supply of pinakbet crops as it has a planting area for off-season, he said.

"Even during rainy season, we can still plant," Mundo said. He said farmers were also benefiting from the increased prices of pinakbet products.

A kilo of eggplant now sells for P40 to P50. After typhoon Ompong, there was an artificial increase of prices but the town's commodities did not increase that much, Mundo said. From P40-P50 a kilo of eggplant, the price skyrocketed to P70 to P80, he said.

Mundo said there are farmers associations in their production areas who talk among themselves for proper timing of planting to avoid a glut in the market. The local government unit led by Mayor Nonato Abrenica provides fertilizers, pesticides, technlology assistance to help farmers.

The town harvested a total of 12,600 metric tons (MT) of eggplants last year plus 3,360 MT of ampalaya, 625 MT of tomatoes and 375 MT of okra. Sometime in 2005, Abrenica, and some friends conceptualized the Talong Festival that became an annual thing as part of the town's fiesta celebration every January.

All the 21 barangays plus the local government unit cook their best recipe of pinakbet in different styles at the town gymnasium.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 3, 2018
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