Department of Agriculture urges metro residents to do urban gardening to address insufficient supply of veggies in Central Visayas, Philippines
Cebu’s population is always on the rise while only three percent of its total lands are classified as agricultural lands.
By Fayette C. Rien
Philippine Information Agency
6th of March 2012
CEBU CITY, March 6 (PIA) — Agriculture officials here urged metro residents to do urban gardening and plant vegetables in their backyard or in plain pots to address the insufficient supply of high-value crops in the region.
Jorge Paculba, chief of the crops division of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 said the region is only about 56 percent sufficient in vegetables or high-value crops and that most of our supply is imported from other regions.
“A rising population sparking greater demand for vegetables and the existing 89 hotels plus pension houses and 116 restaurants in Cebu make it hard to achieve self-sufficiency in high-value crops,” Paculba declared.
“Last year, our production went down compared to in 2010 especially on eggplants, broccoli and onions,” Paculba declared.
The DA 7 official said that in order to increase our supply of vegetables, we need to do urban gardening so that the vegetable plants we produce in our own homes are just what we consume for our needs.
Paculba cited Cebu which only has three percent of its lands categorized as agricultural. “Cebu’s population is always on the rise while only three percent of its total lands are classified as agricultural lands. Thus, the province depends largely on imports for its veggie needs,” the DA 7 official added.
Under the Agricultural Roadmap in Response to Increasing Demand and Climate Change 2011-2016, the DA 7 aims to increase the vegetable sufficiency level of the region from 56.26 percent in 2011 to 66.32 percent in 2016 by providing production, post-harvest, and processing equipment and facilities.
The DA 7 is also partnering with the Dep Ed in the National Greening Program where vegetable seedlings are given to schools to be planted by students in their school gardens.
Paculba also advised farmers to utilize even sloping lands for vegetable planting known as contour farming.
The High Value Crops Development Program of the DA is one of its priority programs aimed at helping address food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable growth.