Agriculture Secretary William Dar urges the public to patronize and buy local fruits in keeping with the tradition of serving round fruits during the New Year’s celebration.

“We, Filipinos, practice a tradition gathering a variety of round-shaped fruits, as they symbolize good fortune and prosperity. For most, 12 kinds of fruits are displayed on the dining table, serving as a centerpiece of every Filipino family’s media noche,” he said. “Promoting our own home-grown fruits will boost not only the country’s fruit industry, but also provide farmers and their families more income,” the DA chief added.

He suggested 12 fruits that include: pinya (pineapple), tsiko (chico), bayabas (guava), dalanghita (citrus) or sintunis (small orange), Perante or Satsuma (Vizcaya ponkan), melon (cantaloupe), suha (pomelo), atis (sugar apple), pakwan (watermelon), pitahaya (dragon fruit), papaya, and avocado. “These are available year-round and can be bought in every market. Let’s promote and take pride in them, thus giving our tradition a deeper meaning by nurturing our agricultural sector,” Secretary Dar said.

He also reminded the public to look after their health and stay physically-fit by engaging in regular exercises, and most importantly consuming not only fruits, but also nutritious vegetables and appropriate protein sources to boost their immune system against COVID-19. “Now more than ever, with Covid-19 still lurking its ugly head, and with the emergence of a new rabid strain, we need to keep our bodies’ defenses strong and functioning. On behalf of the entire Department of Agriculture team, we wish all Filipino families a prosperous New Year!” he declared.(Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)