NAGA CITY --- The city government here is strengthening the implementation of its urban agriculture program that would help augment family incomes and increase human immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
City Ordinance No. 2020-095, authored by Councilor Mila SD Raquid-Arroyo, proposed the establishment of seedling nurseries at sitio level of every barangay of the city.
The nurseries, which will be set up and managed by Barangay Agricultural Team Technicians (BATTs), shall make available to the community varieties of vegetable and herb seedlings.
BATTs act as arms of the City Agriculture Office (CAO) in the implementation of the ordinance. They are composed of three program cluster coordinators of the Integrated Community Food Production (ICFP) program, one BATT leader and two BATT assistants in each barangay.
The BATTs will ensure that seedlings propagated at the nurseries are distributed to the households in the barangays. “Such seedlings shall be sold for not more than P5 each, as determined by the CAO, provided, however, that indigent families may avail of such seedlings at a subsidized cost,” the ordinance said.
THE LADY LEGISLATOR: Front-lining for the greening of the highly urbanized city.
Arroyo, when she endorsed the enactment of the ordinance last October, this year, cited a 2007 University of British Columbia report that said urban agriculture is “increasingly recognized as a sustainable, holistic, and empowering means for achieving food security and aiding in poverty alleviation.”
Section 15 of City Ordinance No. 2020-046, which was enacted last May, this year, mandated every household to engage in vegetable gardening. It said that vegetables, particularly the green leafy ones, are essential in fighting infections as they boost the human body’s immune system.
Search for the greenest
An annual search for Naga City Greenest Barangay is established as one of the program components of ICFP to further encourage and incentivize urban agriculture. To be conducted and awarded in the month of July as part of the Nutrition Month celebration, the search has the following criteria:
1.) Percentage of zones with complete and maintained vegetable seedling nursery – 15 percent;
2.) Percentage of households with vegetable gardens all year round – 50 percent;
3.) Percentage of households who are able to regularly source income from their vegetable garden – 25 percent;
4.) Total area of formerly-vacant lots utilized for vegetable gardening – 10 percent.
Three Greenest Barangays will be declared winners – the First, Second, and Third places – and a cash prize of P100,000; P75,000, and P50,000 respectively, will be awarded to the winners.
No winner shall be declared unless the score of at least 75 percent is achieved. A consolation prize of P10,000 shall be given to each barangay that achieved at least 50 percent of the total score.
The prize awarded to the winning barangay shall be paid to and received by the barangay ICFP advocates and will be utilized by them in further pursuit of the objectives of the ICFP program.