T’boli, South Cotabato, May 12 – Strawberry plants will soon grow in this town.

Around 30 farmers in the village of New Dumangas, all beneficiaries of the government’s anti-poverty program, will start to cultivate strawberry in 1.4 hectare of lands as part of efforts to attract both foreign and local tourists.

“This month they will start cleaning the land where they are going to plant the strawberry seedlings. We already talked to our partner who will provide the seedlings coming from Luzon,” Jayson Bacaling, municipal link of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program here reported Friday.

Bacaling said residents would initially plant 100 mother seedlings, which have never been grown in the province before, but they are targeting more than 10,000 in the next few years.

“If this will get positive outcome, it will attract both foreign and local tourists,” Bacaling said.

Bacaling said the 30 involved beneficiaries, all beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, would pay each between Php 200-300 pesos to cover the cost of seedlings.

“One of our client introduce their plan with local officials and they are securing a time with the mayor to formally present their project,” he said.

A local resident said the temperature for the area of strawberry plantation is conducive as well strategic because it’s also the way heading to the town’s tourist spots like Bakngeb River and Lake Holon.

Juliet Clavel, regional program coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, said the plan to cultivate the fruit came out during their beneficiaries’ family development session wherein residents will meet monthly to discuss efforts how they can transform their lives.
Strawberry, as an edible fruit, is widely appreciated for its pleasing aroma, sweetness, juicy texture, and bright red color.

Areas in Mindanao where there are strawberry farms include Davao, Bukidnon and North Cotabato. (End)