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City urban gardening endeavour lauded

Regional and city agriculture industry stakeholders commended the agriculture department and the local government for their all-out support to the aggressive promotion and practice of urban gardening among residents in the city’s 128 barangays to ensure the sufficient supply of organically produced vegetables for health conscious individuals.

Officers of the highly urbanized city agriculture and fisheries council (HUCAFC), the regional agriculture and fisheries council among other sectors acknowledge outgoing Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., chairman of the City Council Committee on Market, Trade, Commerce and Agriculture, as the father of urban agriculture in the city and commended for his initiative in taking urban gardening to greater heights in ways that benefitted Baguio city as a whole.

Former HUCAFC president Jane Pauline Abanag, incumbent HUCAFC president Agnes Maslian, CARRAFC president Balbina Ernesto, Vincent Chacapna, Marcelina Taeling and city Agriculturist Alberto Tomas stated that all the previous efforts of local officials led to better wellness for the community, thus, if everyone in the city practices urban gardening in their homes, then Baguio can become the Garden City of the Philippines.

The sectors stated that urban gardening bridges education and innovation, community health, food quality, and environmental management together.

Earlier, Yangot visualized the local government’s urban gardening program as a means of ensuring organic food production that translated to healthier food and less risk of food and less risk of contracting diseases that are diet-related.

The sectors claimed that not only does urban gardening encourage doing away with chemicals as it also encourages enthusiasts to engage in physical activities and promotes proper waste management and a zero waste lifestyle wherein non-biodegradable waste such as cans, plastics, clothe sacks, tires, ropes, and others can be recycled and upcycled.

According to them, urban gardening is a potential source of jobs if done right and if done communally as it supports homegrown talents and ideas.

One of the successes of urban gardening in the city is the establishment of the first strawberry farm in the city located in Bilis, Sto. Tomas Central and since the first media tour conducted last November 2017, the area has become a farm tourism destination.

Another area being strengthened is the cutflower farms in Happy Hallow wherein demonstration farms had been established in Irisan, Lucnab, Pinget, Sto. Tomas, Burnham-Legarda, Pucsusan and Pinsao Proper.

To further bolster the success of the city’s urban agriculture program, Yangot authored a number of local legislative measures, specifically Ordinance No. 35, series of 2018 which institutionalized the conduct of the Urban Farmers Month celebration every May and providing funds therefore, Resolution No. 75, series of 2017 which declared the month of May 2017 and every year thereafter as Urban Farmer’s Month in the City of Baguio and Ordinance No. 136, series of 2018 declaring the 20th day of July of every year as the highly urbanized city agriculture and fishery council foundation day in the city.

The sectors expressed their gratitude to the residents for their increasing awareness on the practice of urban gardening in the city that could translate to sufficient supply of organically produced vegetables in the future. - Dexter A. See