DA-CAR Press Release No. 23-44

Farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs), barangays, public schools, and other organizations from Baguio City received urban agriculture interventions from the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) through its High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) as part of the National Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP).

During the turnover ceremony on March 7, 2023, 30 beneficiaries received a set of urban farming tools and equipment to aid them in sustaining, improving, and promoting backyard and/or rooftop gardens in their respective communities.

The set of intervention consists of one knapsack sprayer, one roll rubber hose, one hand trowel, three water sprinklers, one Mapal bed, one wheelbarrow, one pair rubber boots, one shovel, five packs of Value One seeds, and five citrus seedlings. Additionally, 14 beneficiaries received one roll of black nets each.

The FCA-beneficiaries were Ba-engan Planters Association from Bakakeng Central, 4H Club from Happy Hallow, Ditep Farmerโ€™s Association from Loakan-Liwanag, Irisan Womenโ€™s Association, Country Club Womenโ€™s Organization, Dominican Mirador Farmers Association, Maria Basa Urban Gardening Cooperative, Barangay Happy Hallow Farmerโ€™s Organization, Barangay Lucnab Agriculture and Fishery Association, Bekes Ta-ang Farmers Organization, Binnadang Smith Organization from Asin, Bilis, Sto. Tomas Central Farmers Livelihood Association, Crafts and Farm Association from Irisan, Granjeros De Oeste Organization, Panbiyagan Di Umili Organization from Dontogan, Pinget Rural Improvement Club, San Andreas Strawberry Growers Association from Sto. Tomas Central, Wood Rock and Flowers Group Inc. from Camp 7, and Raise Rabbit Raise Livelihood Association from Gibraltar.

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) and womenโ€™s organizations from Lucnab, Happy Hallow, Cabinet Hill-Teachersโ€™ Camp, and East Modern Site also received the set of interventions, while the beneficiary schools were Pacday Quiรฑo Elementary School (PQES), Holy Ghost Elementary School, Guisad Valley National High School, and Roxas National High School.

Moreover, those who received black nets were North Sanitary Camp, Dizon-Manzanillo, Ambiong, Camp 8, Outlook Drive, Middle Rock Quarry, Poliwes, Dominican-Mirador, Upper Dagsian, West Bayan Park, Burnham-Legarda, Lower Magsaysay, and Pacdal barangay local government units.

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As the growing population intensifies the demand for food, and food production is solely in the hands of farmers and fisherfolks, the agriculture department is now promoting urban agriculture through the NUPAP, which aims to make food more accessible and affordable among the urban and peri-urban residents. This project also provides knowledge and additional income to the youth, women, and PWDs who want to venture into agriculture.

PQES Principal Remedios Quiรฑo said this program would help them address the growing number of malnourished pupils in their school.

โ€œAs of now, we have 21 malnourished children. Aside from beautification and integration in their subject area, we will also feed our malnourished children from the produce of this project. Also, we will enlist the help of other children who became obese during the pandemic to help on our farm,โ€ Quiรฑo pointed out.

Avefe Pasis of the Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp PWD organization expressed her gratitude as well, saying that the program would allow them to prove that PWDs can work in agriculture. Likewise, Amelia Montes from Pinget RIC assured that they would sustain their urban farming project, as these interventions will inspire them to work harder.

The agriculture department and its attached bureaus and agencies have committed to also assist the beneficiaries through their services.

DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey assured the farmers the continuous support for the endeavor. Odsey mentioned that the DA-CAR would closely coordinate with the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services-Cordillera (BPI-NSQCS-CAR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera (BFAR-CAR) to give trainings and technology demonstrations on modern urban agriculture technologies like hydroponics and aquaponics.

BPI-NSQCS-CAR Center Chief Dr. Jesus Espuria further assured that their office would provide hands-on training and techno-demo on urban farming. The Center has state-of-the-art techno-demo farms on strawberries, tomatoes, and mushrooms which the farmers could visit for benchmarking purposes.

Likewise, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council Chairperson Ryan Palunan expressed his hopes that the urban and peri-urban program could integrate more youth in the agriculture sector, as farmers are drastically aging.

The promotion of urban agriculture is also aligned with the newly-developed HAPAG HAY PBBM program. This was underscored by Leonel Limbawan of Leonel Limbawan from the BPI-Central Office and representative of Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban.

The HAPAG KAY PBBM program is set to spark the urban agriculture revolution toward a greener and healthier future by establishing gardens in all barangays across the Philippines.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, through his executive assistant Benjie Macadangdang, then lauded the HAPAG KAY PBBM, which, accordingly, will help the community into becoming more self-sufficient. He also urged the beneficiaries to be committed in maintaining the projects initiated by the local government so that they will not โ€œdie a natural death.โ€ //JBPeralta

Credit to : Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Facebook Page