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A calamansi plantation in Pangasinan is helping a community in the midst of a pandemic

In Sitio Bagbag, Barangay Lekep Butao, around 70 households depend on the calamansi plantation in their community as the primary source of income and supplementation for others, particularly during the epidemic.

The calamansi plantation, according to Barangay Captain Ferdie Estayo, was established in the 1980s by the locals’ parents, including his own father.

β€œIn Sitio Bagbag, there are 6,000 calamansi trees, and there are more in the neighboring Barangay Lekep-Butao,” says the author. When it comes to agriculture, it is particularly flourishing, and it is tuloy-tuloy even during times of lockdown. (There are 6,000 calamansi trees in Sitio Bagbag alone, and there are many more across the whole Barangay Lekep Butao.) This is significant since agribusiness continues to operate even during the lockdown),” he said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

Estayo said that some of the inhabitants of the sitio are renters, while others are employees who are responsible for harvesting, trimming, and other tasks necessary to keep the plantation running.

According to him, the product from the region is being marketed throughout Pangasinan as well as in certain areas of La Union and Baguio City, and even as far as Metro Manila, among other places.

β€œNito lang napansin itong aming plantation, kaya pinagbubuo kami ng asosasyon o grupo para makakuha ng mga tulong mula sa gobyerno,” says the asosasyon or group responsible for the plantation. It is a growing agritourism destination in the province of Suhestyon. Recently, our plantation was taken notice of, and we were requested to establish an organization or group in order for us to be eligible to participate in the programs and initiatives of the federal government. One of the ideas is that the plantation be turned into an agritourism destination),” he said.

The calamansi tree, according to Estayo, is a good choice for their area since it requires less water compared to other crops such as palay (unhusked rice).

β€œBecause it doesn’t need a lot of water, we planted calamansi on the upper level of the land and palay on the lower level,” he said.

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