Monday, 26 November 2012

Barcelona town ventures on banana farming, processing

Lakatan ... a favorite banana variety that commands higher prices in the market.


SORSOGON CITY: Barcelona town has piloted a 21ha banana plantation from 19 upland barangays in the area with lakatan as the premier variety cultivated for about a year now.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sorsogon provincial office here, which also provided technical assistance to the municipal government of Barcelona, cited “lakatan” variety is sourced from Davao, the banana hub of the country.

The first load of harvest was presented last October 2012 in time of the Kasanggayahan Festival of Sorsogon Province.

“Lakatan” is a type of banana that typically grows to a height of five to nine feet. The fruits can be harvested 8-12 months after planting.

“Its fruits are longer and thicker-skinned than the Latundan and turns a characteristic yellow-orange when ripe. Lakatan is the most popular banana in the Philippines. It is more expensive than the more common “Latundan.”

The document further stated that utilizing the suitability of soil to root crop production, the local government unit through its Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) came up with specific programs and activities that will help increase the farm yields of their upland farmers.

Aside from farm-based production, Rural Improvement Club (RIC) from eight barangays signified interest in crop-based processing such as taro and banana chips.

Initially, a 2-day basic skills training was conducted at Barangay Lago in Barcelona last Sept. 6-7, 2012 to introduce new technologies that will provide value added to their raw products.

Some 28 micro processors of food from barangays of Bangate, Lago, Tagdon, Cagang, Alegria, Olandia, San Isidro, and Layog and the participants appreciated the effort of giving them additional livelihood activities that will help augment the income of the local residents of the municipality.

Determined to become the Sorsogon’s biggest producer and supplier of “lakatan” in the province, LGU-Barcelona has come up with plans to maximize the production and marketing of their banana produce in the coming months.

Barcelona is a fifth class municipality situated in the 2nd district of Sorsogon.

Historically it was named by Spaniards giving credit to the panoramic view of Barcelona the coastal capital city of Catalonia in Spain.

Economically, the town is abundant with supply of coconut, abaca, and root crops. – Bicol Mail

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