SORSOGON CITY, November 20 (PIA) – The municipality of Barcelona has started piloting a 21-hectare banana plantation from nineteen (19) upland barangays in the area with “lakatan” as the premier variety cultivated for about a year now.
In a press release sent by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sorsogon, which is also helping the Local Government of Barcelona technically, said that the “lakatan” variety was 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 the province of Sorsogon.
“Lakatan” is a type of banana that typically grows to a height of five to nine feet. The fruits can be harvested eight to twelve months after planting. Its fruits are longer and thicker-skinned than the “Latundan” and turn a characteristic yellow-orange when ripe. Lacatan is the most popular dessert 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 (8) barangays signified interest in crop-based processing such as taro and banana chips.
Initially, a 2-day basic skills training was conducted at Brgy. Lago in Barcelona last Sept. 6-7, 2012 to introduce new technologies that will provide value added to their raw products.
Said training was attended by 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 strategize and 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. (BARecebido, PIA/JMVillafuerte, DTI Sorsogon)