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‘We deserve quality produce’

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The importance of high-quality local produce was the topic of conversations at the proclamation signing that declared Aug. 14-19 as Farmers and Ranchers Week.

Speaking on Monday at the Garapan Public Market, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said that locally grown produce are healthier, cheaper, and lessens the chances of consuming possibly hazardous chemicals.

At the same time, the proclamation recognizes the hard work of island farmers to ensure that consumers get premium quality crops, he said.

Torres said it is vital that the produce is both high in quantity and quality and the farmers who sell their produce at the market has achieved both.

One of the biggest challenges that island farmers face is labor, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture executive director Travis Thomson. Another struggle is finding a market to sell the produce local farmers grow.

To encourage local consumption of produce, Thompson invited the community to check out the Agricultural Fair this Saturday at the Garapan Fishing Base. He said this will hopefully create consumers who are ready to buy local produce.

Kimberly A. Bautista

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