DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /09 August) — A total of 150 exhibitors are joining this year’s Agro Trade Fair, one of the highlights of 30th Kadayawan Festival, at the SM Grounds in Ecoland.
A total of 364 booths will be featured in the fair that will begin on August 13.
Rosalie B. Samiana, secretary of the Mindanao Floriculture and Ecological Development Inc. (Minfed) and part of the organizing committee, told reporters Friday that the trade fair showcases not only fresh fruits, flowers, and ornamental plants but also seedlings and furniture made by local artists.
She said most of the customers who come to visit the fair are hobbyists who are on the lookout for new ornamental plants, most especially those imported from Thailand.
“For the exhibitors, they have to upgrade their plants and display rare species that are new to the customers,” she said in Cebuano.
She boasted that this trade fair is one-of-a-kind because it is held for one month unlike in Manila where fairs such as this last for only a week or two.
Exhibitors from as far as Kidapawan, Koronadal, Surigao are also participating in the month-long fair. Others come from Digos, Davao del Sur, and Mati, Davao Oriental.
She said the organizing committee always comes up with an evaluation at the end of every fair to ensure that the next staging will be far better.
This year, she said they strictly require exhibitors to have secured permits from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), otherwise they cannot join the fair.
Samiana has been joining the fair for 20 years.
Ilora L. Chua, a housewife and owner of Lorymar Garden, said the orchids and the ornamental plants that she has exhibited at the fair were propagated by herself.
What started as hobby has now become a source of income for Chua, who is a sociologist by profession. At an average, she earns P3,000 a day during a trade fair.
Regular clients from Bacolod, Bohol, and Manila come to visit Davao during Kadayawan Festival to check out on her new plants.
After she learned the ropes of the trade, Chua then imported some of her plants from Thailand, the country she has admired so much in the field of botany for its technology in plant breeding.
Chua added that apart from her love of gardening, the fertile soil also works wonders.
To start a gardening venture, she said she needs at least P200,000. Her garden is located in Catalunan Pequeño.
The Floriculture Industry of Davao Inc. is also part of the fair’s organizing committee. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)