END the slavery of farmers by financiers and establish a “formidable agricultural sector that is not weather-dependent and is resilient to climate change.”
This is the direction of the Davao City’s agriculture sector as announced by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in her State of the City Address (Soca) last Tuesday, September 12.
“We envision a formidable agricultural sector that is not weather-dependent and is resilient to climate change. We would like our farmers to become business-oriented partners. We want to see an end to the slavery of farmers by financiers,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio said that the city is bent on developing an Organic Farm and Agriculture Training Center in a government property in Malagos, Davao City.
She said it will showcase the how-to’s and other Do-It-Yourself’s of organic farming in an integrated farm presentation to inspire small to medium sized current and future farmers of the city.
“As the project inspires visitors to engage in farming, the Center shall house the City’s own training center catering to agri-business enthusiasts as well as basic education to K-12 agriculture learners. It is envisioned to draw not only learners but agri-tourists as well, which shall showcase the abundance and vibrance of the city’s agriculture sector,” she said.
Urban Container Gardening
“We would like to teach people to plant even without backyards so that they may have food on hand which would mean savings to their grocery budget,” she said.
The mayor shared that the Davao City Rooftop Garden in the City Hall Annex building “serves as the model set up for the urban container gardening movement” to promote urban organic farming as a scheme to guarantee food and environmental safety as well as reduce expenses through application of organic fertilizers.
Chocolate Capital of the Philippines
The bid to be the chocolate capital of the country is designed to develop the cacao industry in the city.
“It will provide an opportunity for the small entrepreneurs, marginal farmers, upland farmers, and indigenous people of Davao City to be players in the cacao and chocolate industry by producing globally competitive quality chocolates,” she said.
At present, the city has an on-going implementation of the Cacao Production and Marketing of Dry Fermented Beans, a sub-project under the Philippine Rural Development Project-Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity with Subasta Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
The project has 16 cluster members from Calinan, Tugbok, Baguio, and Marilog Districts with a total of 227 recipients, which includes 97 members of the Indigenous Peoples group.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 18, 2017.
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