Thursday, March 30, 2023

Benguet Frost-Covered Crops, Flowers Seen To Attract Tourists


Benguet Frost-Covered Crops, Flowers Seen To Attract Tourists

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A local official on Wednesday said they expect tourists to once again drive up to Atok town not only for its flower farms and vegetable gardens, but also for its frost phenomenon.

“Naging destination na ang Atok (Atok has become a destination) with the beautiful flowers, vegetable farms, and the very cold temperature that causes frost,” said Cherry Sano, municipal agriculture officer of Atok, Benguet on Tuesday.

Atok in recent years has been popular among tourists who visit the Northern Blossoms flower gardens and the Sakura Park. Paoay, a barangay in Atok, is particularly known for its vegetable gardens and patches of grassland where lots of calla lily flowers grow.

“Every year starting in November, we are being asked about frost by adventurous persons who take time to arrive early morning to take selfies with the frosted plants. Wala kasi iyon sa ibang lugar (it is not present in other places in the country),” Sano added.

But while tourists marvel at frost-covered vegetation, farmers dread the phenomenon. Sano said the town experienced the worst frost, locally called “andap,” in 2008 that triggered a wide coverage from both the local and national media.

Sano said farmers have been applying cultural management systems to prevent frost from damaging their plants.

“Watering of plants before sunrise is done by the farmers for the frost to melt and avoid leaves from being burned by the ray of the morning sun,” she added.

Fortunately, she said the frost phenomenon in the town causes only minimal damage to crops as farmers have learned measures to cushion its effects.

Sano said the only incident of frost so far this year was recorded on Jan. 26 affecting only three farmers of the town.

The official said the damage was concentrated in potatoes, although the three farmers were able to save some tubers and managed to sell them. (PNA)