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Author Topic: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming  (Read 213 times)

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Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

MANILA, Jan. 15 (PNA) -- Taguig City, which prides itself as Metro Manila’s “ProbinSyudad,” continues to implement programs which aim to retain aspects of agricultural life amidst its rapid ascent as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

The rapidly developing city, home of the Bonifacio Global City and the ARCA South business districts, has managed to retain 202 hectares of agricultural land used for cultivation of melon, rice and high-value crops like kinchay. City Agriculture Office head Emelita Solis said this size of agricultural land is still economically functional despite the inevitable conversion of land into residential, commercial, and industrial uses characteristic of highly urbanized cities.

Mayor Lani Cayetano said the city government intends to preserve at least 25 hectares of agricultural land. To achieve this goal, the city government is aggressively promoting urban farming and gardening. This goal is not prompted by nostalgia for an agricultural past, but for pragmatic reasons. The city government views urban farming not only as a source of income for its residents but as a way to promote a better environment and a healthier lifestyle.

The city’s urban gardening program favors organic farming where pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not used on crops. Organically grown products are better for the environment and for a person’s health.

The City Agriculture Office conducts lectures, seminars and trainings regarding urban farming and gardening. It also provides technical assistance including distribution of free vegetable seeds.

The showcase of the city government’s urban gardening program is the “Taguig Urban Farm” in Tipas Elementary School which hosts a vegetable garden and small concrete fish pens for growing tilapia and catfish fingerlings.

To encourage residents to create their own “urban farms,” the City Agriculture Office held the first Gulayan Contest for Women last December 19, 2016.

The competition was divided into two categories: home-based category, which is for backyard vegetable gardens and container gardens, and community-based category which is for all barangays with community vegetable gardens.

For the home-based category, the first prize was awarded to Epifania DC. Tagacay from Brgy. South Signal Village. Second prize was given to Joy Wininah F. Caoile from Brgy. Central Signal Village; third prize was given to Corazon L. Echano from Brgy. New Lower Bicutan and Jocelyn T. Remolete from North Daang Hari got the fourth prize.

The first prize of the community-based category was won by Carla Bernal’s team of Brgy. San Miguel; the second prize was awarded to Gina R. Gentallan’s team of Brgy. Calzada; Susan M. Benavidez’s team of Brgy. Bagumbayan bagged the third prize and Madelyn Bataller’s team of Brgy. Western Bicutan won the fourth prize. All winners received cash prizes.

The competition focused on women or mothers who prepare meals in their homes, and therefore are expected to feed their children with nutritious food. (PNA)

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