A congressman has filed a proposal to declare Ilocos Norte as the country’s garlic capital with the province being the top producer of what the locals called “white gold”.
Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba of the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte, the sponsor of House Bill 8109, said on Saturday that once officially declared as garlic capital, farmers in his home province will benefit from it as they will be assured of additional funding support from the national government.
“This will not only serve as an inspiration to our garlic farmers but also inspire people to take actions that would further boost garlic production in the country,” he said.
The proposed bill, filed on March 3, is now under review for approval anytime soon, he added
The latest annual report of the Department of Agriculture shows that Ilocos Norte remains to be the top producer of garlic with an average production of 55.7 percent or 4,161 metric tons annually.
Every year, the province is devoting around 1,880 hectares for garlic farming, mostly in the towns of Pasuquin, Bacarra, Burgos, Vintar, and Pinili, including Batac City.
Aside from producing fresh garlic, the state-run Mariano Marcos State University in partnership with the Ilocos Norte government is taking the lead in producing world-class black garlic for local and international markets.
With research funding support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), black garlic is now locally-produced in the province.
Black garlic came from aged white garlic produced from the perfect mixture of heat and humidity for about 30 days without any additional treatments and additives.
It is sweet with hints of balsamic vinegar or tamarind, but no strong offensive flavor of the original fresh garlic.
The exotic product from fresh garlic is a sought-after food supplement and an ingredient of expensive culinary recipes in Japan and other countries. (PNA)