Potatoes are a staple crop in Benguet, a mountainous province located in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines. The province is known for its cool climate and fertile soil, which are ideal for growing a wide range of crops, including potatoes. In this blog post, we will explore the traditional way of harvesting potatoes in Benguet.
Potatoes are typically planted in Benguet from October to December, and the harvest season begins around four months later, in February or March. In traditional potato farming, harvesting is done by hand using simple tools such as a spade, a fork, and a bolo (a traditional Filipino machete).
The process of harvesting potatoes in Benguet begins with the removal of the plants’ foliage using a bolo. This is done to allow the potatoes to mature and harden in the soil, making them more resistant to damage during harvesting.
After the foliage is removed, the potatoes are dug up from the soil using a spade or a fork. Care must be taken during this process to avoid damaging the potatoes, which can affect their quality and storage life.
Once the potatoes are dug up, they are sorted and cleaned to remove any damaged or diseased potatoes. This is done by hand, with each potato carefully examined and sorted according to size and quality.
Traditional potato farming in Benguet involves a labor-intensive process of harvesting by hand using simple tools such as a spade, a fork, and a bolo. While this process may be time-consuming, it allows for greater control over the quality of the potatoes and ensures that they are free from damage and disease. By following these traditional methods, farmers in Benguet can produce high-quality potatoes that are enjoyed by people around the world.