STA. MARIA—The municipal council here passed an ordinance declaring Feb. 14-22, 2018 and every year thereafter as Mushroom Festival.
Councilor Rolando dela Peña, author of the ordinance, said Sta. Maria, being an agriculture-based community, intends to promote and introduce mushroom as its “One Town One Product (OTOP)” in a festive celebration.
On Feb. 18, the municipal government will give one kilo of mushroom to each group of participants from different schools for the cookfest to showcase how to enjoy this produce either as appetizer, main dish or dessert like a mushroom ice cream.
In an interview, Municipal Agriculturist Reynaldo Segui Jr, said mushroom production here is boosted by the presence of the Mushroom Research and Development Center of the Pangasinan State University, which has a campus in the town.
Segui said the town’s local government also produces year-round mushroom spawns and given to barangays placed in fruiting bags free of charge.
He said when harvested, a kilo of edible mushrooms commands a farm gate price of P150 to P200 each.
Beneficiaries of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) were earlier tapped by the town government with financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment for mushroom production.
Although this momentarily stopped, other farmers and their wives are also into mushroom production in their backyards for additional source of income, he said.
“Our mushrooms here are purely organic,” he added.
Their production is continuous and harvest is every five to seven days every week,
However, the volume is good only for townsfolk’s consumption in their 23 barangays, he said.
Interested groups, individuals or LGUs buy their mushroom spawns and fruiting bags here. — (Eva Visperas)
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