Agri roadmap for city pushed

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Monday, February 3, 2014


A CITY councilor is now working on a draft of an Agricultural Development Plan, a legislation that will clearly set a roadmap for the agriculture sector in Davao City.

Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, committee chair on agriculture, speaking in Monday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao, stressed that not a single legislation that is centered on developing the city's agriculture has so far been passed by the council.

This plan will benefit the farmers to embark on new methods of farming, especially in the upland areas where there are great potentials for the planting of high-value crops, especially cacao, corn, and coconut.

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"Dili kaayo, kailangan gyud sila og support. Naay potential og daghan og yuta nga pwede tanuman (Upland farmers need technical support on farming. There's a great potential for agro-forestry)," she said.

The crops that will be planted in these areas are fruit-bearing trees that will support the city's advocacy for agro-forestry, as the produce will earn farmers a living, and thus prevent them from cutting down trees.

She said the development plan will include the creation of an Upland Management Board, a body who will look over its implementation.

Abella said the board will be comprised possibly of Cacao Agriculturist Office (CAO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), and other concerned agencies, with the City Mayor as the chair.

"Naay nagapractice ani sa usa ka city. Nakita na gwapo ang practices with the board," she said.

Also, part of the plan will be the utilization of new farming methods, for instance, the Sloping Agricultural Land Technology Farming (Salt) that will make idle lands on the hilly terrain usable for farming.

The legislator said she is yet to determine the final date for the plan's presentation before the plenary, but added she's looking at lobbying the proposed plan within the first quarter of 2014.

"I have positive feedback from the executive. It's a good plan," she said.

When passed, there will be two training centers that will be put up in Marilog and Paquibato districts where a wholistic approach will be taken to help farmers improve their technical know-how on farming.

"That centers can be an agro-tourism," she said, adding that these centers should be situated within the reach of the farmers.

The training center will also house a demo farm on the best practices on farming and a nursery.

"Ang mga farmers should study more. Kailangan og trainings and nursery establishment para makahibalo sila unsaon pag-propagate (Farmers should study more. They need trainings and a nursery so that they will learn how to progate seedlings)," she said.

With the development plan, the city is poised to be a major exporter of various high-value crops.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 04, 2014.

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