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Ronda’s Best at Capitol Agro Trade Fair this August

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

After the municipality of Ronda earned the niche as home of Cebu’s finest humba, more local and foreign tourists are expected to come.

This stewed pork dish that is Ronda’s Best will be showcased in the Capitol Agro Trade Fair this August as the province celebrates its 445th founding anniversary.

Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said that one of the highlights of the agro fair will be the new camote chips of Ronda.

The product is not yet out in the market, except in the neighboring towns.

“What makes it special is that these chips are roasted infusing the technique and formula of its partner Silliman University (SU),” said Dr. Saragena.

Ronda municipal Agriculturist Lilibeth Montaño said SU’s intervention came through the initiative of Department of Agrarian Reform.

Aside from training the farmers how to make the chips, the program also involved the packaging and the marketing of Ronda’s Best.

The beneficiaries of the program are graduates of Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) in Barangays Malalay, Langin and Vive.

Aside from camote chips, they were also trained to make banana chips and sayote vegetable salad.

Montaño said some of the products were already introduced in Moalboal and some were given away for promotional purposes.

The town was able to showcase these products to FSTP National Program Leader Dr. Romulo Davide, FSTP-Cebu Province Team, and Cebu Technological University officials in an FSTP graduation rite last June.

The farmers are still in the training stage. She said once they have perfected the craft, these will be approved by SU.

In the meantime, Montaño said SU allowed the farmers to sell the products but they have to use different packaging.

“We could not use the packaging prescribed by SU as they have yet to check quality of the products first,” she added.

Ronda became famous for its unique version of humba pork serving. The town’s original humba is now being served as a signature dish in a restaurant of major hotel in Cebu City.

The customary Capitol Agro Trade Fair will be open on August 3 to 7.

In a meeting with municipal/city agriculturists last July 13, Dr. Saragena pleaded the participating local government units to offer the lowest price for their farm products in the fair.

He said this might be the reason of the decline of the sales of last year’s fair. The fair also suffered a setback due to the closure of the Palace of Justice that was damaged by an earthquake last November 2013.

Despite the declining market, Oslob Municipal Agriculturist Proceso Bomediano also noticed a spike of revenues in the fair.

He said all in all, they earned Php 47,500 last year, an increase of 36 percent compared to their sales in 2013.

Bomediano said the main reason of the increase was they were able to keep the prices of their products such as vegetables and fruits lower.

He explained that they were able to do this because the farmers themselves were the ones who sold the products in the fair.

“In other words, we have not allowed middlemen,” he said.