Baguio Farmers consultation to be Institutionalized

20 March 2020 – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the Baguio farmers consultation as a regular program of the city through the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO), providing funds, and for other purposes.

The ordinance states it shall be a policy of the city government to institutionalize worthwhile activities that support certain sectors of the community, including farmers.

The ordinance adds the farmers consultation shall be primarily for farmers of the city to discuss their concerns related to agriculture, organic farming, and business with inputs from government and non-government agencies that have direct concern with the farmers, e.g., basic knowledge, paradigm shift, trends and practices, among other matters beneficial and necessary to the farmers.

Further, the consultation, in partnership with the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office and the farmers consultation working committee shall work towards a common understanding of the directions the city farmers should take and the output of any workshop or plenary of the farmers consultation should be provided to the city and submitted to the City Library for general reference.

The ordinance stipulates the consultation shall be implemented by the farmers consultation working committee headed by the city officials and other needed committees may be created based on the program of activities where the same shall be chaired by the City Mayor, chairperson of the city council committee on market, trade, commerce and agriculture – co-chairperson, City Veterinary and Agriculture and farmers organization – secretary, farmers organization representative and CVAO – treasurer, program chairperson and logistics and registration and promotion committees to be designated.

The ordinance explains the consultation will be partly funded by the city government in an initial amount of P100,000 which could be augmented from partnerships with government and non-government agencies in the sharing of the cost of the farmers consultation and such funds shall be included in the annual budget of the CVAO until any amendment of the measure will be made.

According to the proposal, the city legislative body and any other body to be designated by the City Mayor shall monitor the implementation of the proposed city legislative measure to ensure farmers will directly benefit from the programs, projects and activities to be formulated after such mandatory consultations.

Earlier, the city legislative body passed Resolution No. 092, series of 2020, declaring 16 barangays in the city as barangays engaged in agriculture-based activities.

Previously, a number of farmers were organized into an association, the Baguio City Farmers Association, to will help in advancing the cause of the agriculture sector and in ensuring farmers will have greater access to the various programs, projects and activities of the government agencies, non-government organizations and other stakeholders for the benefit of improving the state of the agriculture industry in the city. - Dexter A. See