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The City Government of Puerto Princesa implemented the Enhanced Agricultural Productivity Project since 2018, an improved scheme to upscale the city’s agriculture in a bid to boost food production in pilot barangays.
Enera Tuibeo, assistant head of the City Agriculture Office, said that project started last year with two pilot barangays—Bacungan and Sta. Cruz—and in 2019, another two new barangays were piloted—Manalo and Salvacion—and it directly benefited a total of 1,017 farmers.
The Enhanced Agricultural Productivity Project has five sub-projects that include: Coconut Diversified Farming System with 411 farmer beneficiaries, Rice-based Farming System with 80 farmer beneficiaries, Vegetable Production System (lowland and upland) with 90 farmer beneficiaries, Mango Production with 50 farmer beneficiaries and Food Always In The Home (FAITH) with 386 household beneficiaries.
She explained that they tried a innovative approach to attain tangible results in agriculture. The lack of financial capability of majority of farmers, unabled them to sustain their farms, therefore resulted to low yield. The city’s meager budget for agriculture be best applied by starting in pilot barangays.
“Parang hindi makita ang resulta, biruin mo 66 barangays. Kung hahatiin naman sa lahat ng farmers ang budget ay lumalabas na 6,000 pesos per farmers lang. Kaya inaalam namin ang pangangailangan. Binago ang strategy dahan-dahan para lahat ay mabibigyan ng full support,” she said.
The project, if implemented in pilot barangays, will yield concrete tangible results since the support given to the farmers were maximized. Through this innovative scheme, they expect that the project’s impact will be felt by the community.
“We focus on two barangays every year since 2018. Dito, ibinigay lahat halos. Not only technical assistance but also inputs, garden tools, plastic drums, power sprayers at iba pa. Mamigay kami ng mga seeds. Meron din kaming binibigay na abono. Ang ginagawa ng City ay tulungan talaga ang mga magsasaka para ang buhay nila ay gaganda at yung impacts ay makita Ang pinaka-goal ay to increase production and income through systems kasi low yung production cost through mechanized (equipment) and use of organic (fertilizer),” she said.
FAITH, one of the five subprojects, is intended to provide food in their own backyards for the daily consumption of low-income families.
“Ito yung mga families identified na nasa poverty, na walang kakayanan. Ito ay more on backyard. Sustainable food sa araw-araw. Dito ay alam nila na free from chemical, syempre malinis at nutritious. Ang pagkain ay hindi na bibilhin pa nila,” Tuibeo said.
In the entire city, there are 40 farmers associations with a total of 1889 members. Another important support that the city government extended to the farmers are provision of skills training and holding of agri trade fairs, where they can market their crops.