Small-scale farmers vow to help Rama in ensuring food security

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. (File photo)
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. (File photo)

TO ENSURE food security in Cebu City, groups of small-scale farmers have vowed to help the City Government in coming up with measures against food shortages, especially with the challenges affecting the hog industry and to fight the effects of inflation.

Farmers from upland villages are considered vital to the city’s food security as they produce about 40 percent of food supplies, according to the Cebu City Agriculture Department (CAD).

Based on CAD’s records, there are currently around 13,000 farmers from the 28 upland barangays who produce vegetables, fruit crops and livestock, among others.

CAD head Joelito Baclayon said the rest of Cebu City’s food supplies come from Mindanao, other towns in Cebu and neighboring provinces.

Cebu City Farmers Federation president Elecio Cantano said in an interview on Sunday, March 26, 2023, that they will help the administration of Mayor Michael Rama in coming up with measures and programs to ensure there will be no shortage of food supply in the city.

“As long as the purpose and direction of the mayor are for the betterment of the people, we will support him,” Cantano said.

Rama announced during his press conference on Friday, March 24, that he will hold a Food Security Summit “soon” with the participation of producers of backyard, farm and agro-industries for the creation of a food security master plan that will serve as the foundation to ensure the sustainability of food supply and stable prices.

Casimero Pilones, Alliance of Cebu City Farmers Association president, said personally, he welcomes the development and will provide support to the government.

Pilones said their group will meet on Thursday, March 30.

According to Baclayon, the Food Security Summit will benefit small-scale farmers since they are the people who are really on the ground.

“At least people would know that in Cebu City, we have a potential area for agriculture and able farmers who are contributing and securing food supplies for the city and other localities,” said Baclayon.

Baclayon said the summit will also help farmers in terms of marketing, processing, as well as post-harvest storing.

Rama has laid out his plans and measures “to safeguard” the city from the impact of inflation, as well as from the threat of the African swine fever.

Rama said preventive measures have to be in place to avoid gaps between the supply and demand of goods and to avoid prices shooting up.

Aside from holding the Food Security Summit, some of his plans also include building farm-to-market roads, price monitoring and the creation of a research committee.


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