CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Countering the health and economic effects of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 here, the City Agriculture Office (CAO) highlighted the implementation of Urban Container Household Gardening (UCHG) during the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS)-X Podcast with Presidential Communications Sec. Martin Andanar, June 13.
City Agriculture Officer Rocky Calingin said the UCHG initially started with only about 100 participating households as part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) conditions.
Now, the program has enabled about 800 households to provide immediate food to their families especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To further equip the beneficiaries on the necessities of planting, CAO partnered with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) to train households on growing vegetables and handling seed propagation to sustain the program.
“Tungod aning pandemic karon everybody is naa sa mode nga magpuyo sa balay so basically ang access nato sa atong kamerkaduhan maglisod kita hagit sa transportasyon sa pag-adto didto tungod aning bag-ong precautionary measures nga gihatag sa ato sa Department of Health,” Calingin said.
Thus, in the city, UCHG has helped a lot in easing the lives of the people in serving food on their tables without going through the hassle of encountering people in the market and finding means to reach the area, the agriculture officer added.
Aside from food security, Calingin said urban gardening can also help reduce pollution in the city and prevent irresponsible disposal of discarded containers as they can be used as recycled planting containers.
To ensure sustainability of the urban gardening program, CAO has partnered with the Gulayan sa Kabalayan (GSK), a group that uses an online platform to encourage non-4Ps beneficiaries to take part in the program. CAO is also backed by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in creating communal gardens to propagate seeds.
As the prime mover of sustainable UCHG program, the CAO will handle the technical services and advisory, trainings and seminars, and monitoring and evaluation.
The City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office on the other hand will aid the program through intensifying advocacy on waste segregation and organic composting in the urban barangays. The City Health Office is another player of the program, which will deal with strengthening health and nutrition benefits of urban gardening. (RTP/PIA10)