University of Cebu wants Cebu to be PH's fruit capital

CEBU AS FRUIT CAPITAL. University of Cebu’s (UC) National Service Training Program coordinators join UC president Augusto Go (fifth from left) and representatives from the government and private sectors at the launching of the school’s “Streewardship Project.” (SunStar photo / Cassandra C. Poculan)

THE University of Cebu (UC) has launched the “Streewardship Project,” its joint nature advocacy project with the College of Technological Sciences-Cebu (CTS-C), Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 at the UC Mambaling Campus.

The brainchild of lawyer Augusto Go, UC’s president, the project enjoins students of UC and CTS-C to help plant and nurture fruit-bearing trees, such as mango and guyabano to contribute to sustainable development as well as promote agriculture and entrepreneurship.

According to Go, the idea came to him one evening while he was having dinner and there was an abundance of fruits on the table straight from their own backyard.

“UC has 60,000 students. Imagine if each of them planted five seedlings. In five years, those will bear fruit. The goal is to plant 200,000 this year and one million in the next two to three years. Let’s make Cebu the “Fruit Capital of the Philippines!” said Go.

Go added that while the private sector has the manpower and the means, it doesn’t have the expertise. This is where their partnership with government agencies come into play.

Present during the launch were Department of Agriculture 7 technical director Joel Elumba and Cebu City agriculturist Joelito Baclayon, who each underscored the importance of sustainability in initiatives like this one.

According to them, the national and local government units have a lot of tree planting programs and information drives, among others, to reinforce their thrust of food production and food security.

“We have plant nurseries that have been registered, personnel to support and aid with the planting materials. We teach people about urban and rural gardening and encourage them to replace some of their plants at home with fruit-bearing ones and adopt a diversified farming system, meaning, grow different kinds of plants, not just one,” said Elumba.

Baclayon also shared that the city is set to launch its project which aims to plant three million trees in three years including mangoes. “Mango, guyabano, cacao—these are our top products and silent moneymakers,” he added.

During the launch, the National Service Training Program students received 10,000 seedlings which were sourced from Cebu’s dried mango factories. (CCP)


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