The Negrense people are more known for the sugar they produce but lately they have also been growing climate-sensitive strawberry in commercial quantities with a little help from Japan.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko sent information to Bankero.com.ph that his government has extended the equivalent of P14.48 million to a local non-government organization or NGO to cultivate Japanese-quality of the fruit in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
“The project aims to commercialize strawberry cultivation and encourage farm tourism in Barangay Patag, Silay City, Negros Occidental. It will lay out an income option for the residents by utilizing Japan’s strawberry cultivation technology and expertise in the operation of farms focusing on agri-tourism,” the Ambassador said.
Strawberries thrive in temperate climate but they have been known to grow in hotter climes with proper timing and care, which is why they’re grown in commercial quantities in the highlands of Benguet.
In the Silay City project, Ambassador Kazuhiko said a grant for $277,455 had been extended to the Ako-Ikaw NGO to grow the fruit in Central Visayas, the 57th such project granted by the Japanese government to an NGO in the Philippines.
Such grants have totaled more or less 1.5 billion yen or P676.95 million since the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Project began in the Philippines in 2002, Ambassador Kazuhiko said.