The “Murcia’s Best Harvest” agricultural fair that has been ongoing since Feb. 8 at the town plaza covered court will run until the end of this month.
“We held a soft opening on Feb. 8, after which we conducted a formal opening. The agri fair is an offshoot of the traditional ‘Tinabu-ay Festival’, where producers and consumers converge in our town to buy and sell their basic needs,” Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas said in a press release.
He added that during the town fiesta in December, they modified the festival to “Tindabu-ay” to emphasize the need for Murciahanons to purchase food directly from local producers, particularly this time of the pandemic.
The products are guaranteed fresh and, since consumers buy them direct from farmers, the prices are lower, Rojas added. “We invite consumers, housewives, plantitos and plantitas, especially those in neighboring localities, to buy your vegetables and other food, as well as flowers and ornamental plants, at ‘Murcia’s Best Harvest’ agri fair. This is our way of supporting our farmers, while assuring our families of fresh products at reasonable prices.”
The week-long “Tindabu-ay” was a huge success, and this prompted Rojas to stage a longer version of the festival this month, as a way of promoting Murcia’s local heritage, culture and arts. The town was recognized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines as one of its “Kaisa sa Sining” regional arts centers.
At the agri fair, consumers can buy fresh vegetables, root crops, spices, cutflowers and ornamental plants, home-grown and ready-to-brew coffee, brooms, and many more.
Rodrigo Santilllan, chairman of the Canlandog Pilot Agri-Forestry Farmers Association, said they are grateful to Rojas and other town officials for giving them the opportunity to sell their products directly to consumers. “If we sell our products to middlemen, they buy our products at very low prices and they earn more than us, the farmers who worked hard for those products,” he added.
He said that during the “Tindabu-ay”, their association had gross sales of almost P43,000 in one week, and he said they hope to earn more this month.
Clemente Tawtawan, chairman of the Katugasan Cut Flowers Association under the Murcia-Minoyan Cut Flowers, Ornamental and Vegetable Farmers Growers Association, echoed Santillan’s sentiments.
“This opportunity to sell direct to consumers is a big break for us. Our members cannot afford to rent a stall to sell our plants and flowers, but we now have this opportunity to sell them through our association in this agri-fair at the town plaza,” Tawtawan said.
Other organizations that showcase their products at the agri fair are the Nabalian ARBs Farmers Association, ARBs Guadalupe Association, Murcia Producers Association, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Murcia Solo Parent Association, Angelo Lover Garden, LA Garden, James Garden, and Wishie Garden.*