THE Mandaue City Government yesterday opened an agricultural fair showcasing organic vegetable products grown in the city’s barangays.

Residents competing in the City’s vegetable gardening contest participated in the fair organized at the City Hall grounds as part of the National Nutrition Month celebration.

Mayor Jonas Cortes started the contest in 2007 to promote urban gardening.

The City gives as much as P20,000 to the winners in backyard and container gardening.

Cash prizes are also given to the barangays with the most number of vegetable gardens.

“We have to address hunger and malnutrition through backyard gardening,” he said in a message read by Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede during the opening program yesterday.

Cortes said promoting urban gardening is an advocacy close to his heart, being an agriculturist.

City Agriculturist Sharon Mangadlao said more than 200 households joined the contest, which required them to put up a compost pit to produce organic fertilizer.

Assistant City Agriculturist Rolando Tiro said they are maintaining a vegetable garden inside their compound to set an example to others.

Urban

“We’ve shown that one can go into backyard gardening in an urban area,” he said.

In 2012, two residents of Mandaue won in a national search for outstanding urban gardeners.

Rogelio Sulad of Barangay Subangdaku won the container gardening category, while Alma Rosell of Barangay Paknaan won second prize in backyard gardening.

The search was organized by the Universal Harvester Inc. and the Junior Chamber International Philippines.

Barangay Subangdaku pioneered community gardening in Mandaue by planting vegetables on a two-hectare idle lot owned by the Telecommunication Office.