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Organic fruits, veggies, Cebuano food featured at Capitol Agro-Trade Fair

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The Cebu Provincial Government opened on August 3 the Tabo sa Kapitolyo (Agro-Trade Fair), one of the highlights of Cebu’s 446th founding anniversary this month.

Officer-in-Charge Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said the opening is successful with 86 exhibitors, including those from the agri-fishery sector.

Saragena said the agro-trade fair is getting better every year, showcasing the best and fresh agri-products in the countryside including agri-processed products and popular Cebuano cuisine and delicacies.

At least 41 local government units (LGUs) joined the fair. Their exhibitors are farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables at lower prices than those in the public markets in the metropolitan areas.

For those who are looking for purely organic products, the municipality of Barili offers a variety of organic crops, spices, vegetables and fruits.

These include pechay, tomato string beans, squash, sponge gourd, eggplant, kangkong, bell pepper, and tomato, among others. Some of these are offered 50 percent lower than the prices in Carbon Market in Cebu City.

Buyers can also avail of farm gate prices of fruits like mango, avocado, melon, pineapple, jackfruit, lakatan, and candaba bananas.

The products came from nine barangays in Barili, which established their respective own organic show farms, according to the directive of municipal Mayor Teresito Mariñas.

Saragena said this August fair was the breakthrough of the Provincial Organic Agriculture Chamber that was formed in accordance to the Republic Act No. 10068 or the “Organic Agriculture Act of 2010”. The chamber is composed of farmers coming from the different LGUs in the province.

The municipality of Ronda also made available its Ronda’s Best, which is composed of processed products such as camote chips, banana chips and sayote pickled vegetable. They have also displayed their famous pork dish humba.

The municipality of San Francisco displayed 10 kilos of its “already exported” dried tilapia fish, which were sold out on the first day.

The office of Provincial Agriculturist’s 500 kilos of fresh harvest of milkfish (bangus) were also sold out in the opening.

There are also 29 private exhibitors of dry goods like clothing, slippers and furniture. Ornamental plants, cacao seedlings and other seedlings are also available.

The food court is usually stuffed with lechon manok (roasted chicken), lechon baboy (roasted pig) and barbeque food.

Unlike the LGU-sponsored participants, each private exhibitor is paying Php 1,500 for every booth.

To encourage their participation, the Provincial Government will award the best decorated booth for the participating LGUs. The winner will get Php 20,000, Php 15,000 for first runner-up and Php 10,000 for second runner-up.

The early decorated booth will also get Php 5,000 while Php 2,000 will be given for each participating LGU.

The agro-trade fair will run until August 8. It will open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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