By Philippine News Agency
Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan is batting for the preservation of the 40-hectare strawberry farmlands covered by the property of Benguet State University (BSU) in La Trinidad Valley.
“Once Benguet State University starts constructing another building in the area, we could no longer see the strawberry farm,” Cosalan said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.
He lamented that another structure at in the area would further diminish the area planted with strawberries.
“Let us protect the last bastion of our farming community in La Trinidad,” he said, referring to the strawberry farm. La Trinidad town has been known as “the salad bowl of the Philippines”, “rose garden of the Philippines” and “strawberry capital of the Philippines.”
“I remember when we were children, 80 percent of the area is a vegetable farm. That is why the town got its identity as the ‘Salad Bowl of the Philippines.'” he said, recalling his childhood in the valley.
He lamented that the only remaining available area at the strawberry farm is owned by BSU.
“We hope, we could keep it open for the next generation to enjoy,” he said.
But maintaining the farmland would only be made possible through the amendment of the BSU charter, the lawmaker said, adding he is still waiting for BSU’s response, especially on the issue of “demarcation line” in the area.
In 2017, members of the municipal council have called on Cosalan to sponsor a bill in Congress to ban the construction of a building within the remaining open lots of BSU, especially the area next to the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Complex.
La Trinidad is celebrating the 37th year of its Strawberry Festival with the theme “La Trinidad Strawberries Forever.”