With increasing urbanization and population growth, urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is gradually recognized as a key player in the delivery of healthy and nutritious food to urban residents and in minimizing food loss and waste through short supply chains. UPA also brings a variety of benefits to the daily lives of billions of people, from social aspects to education and from economic to environmental functions, ensuring prosperous livelihoods for many urban and peri-urban dwellers.
To sustain the practice of agriculture in limited spaces in the metropolis, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Administrative Order No. 3 series of 2022 which was signed by former DA Secretary William D. Dar, the agency created a new banner program which was termed National Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP).
NUPAP aims to attain food accessibility and availability; upscale production of technologies and mass production in the peri-urban areas; build climate resilient and sustainable urban agriculture technologies (indoor vertical farms, biointensive gardening, etc.); promote food safety; minimize logistics costs by producing food locally from food miles to food steps; and, collaborate with local governments, line agencies, international organizations, private sectors, social enterprises, marginal groups and other interested stakeholders.
The Cordillera region which comprises of two cities, Baguio City as a chartered city and Tabuk City as a component city are the beneficiaries of this program.
The DA-Cordillera, in preparation for this year’s program implementation has already undergone series of site assessments and validation activities to identified beneficiaries. This was conducted in coordination with the Regional Agriculture Engineering Division and the Agricultural Provincial Coordinating Offices of the agency.
Hence, for FY 2023, the region was allocated 17M pesos for its implementation. Among the interventions to be implemented are the establishment of rabbit and mushroom production facilities, provision of fertilizers, technology demonstration for lowland vegetables, establishment of nurseries, and conduct of specialized trainings in relation to the projects mentioned.
Joan D. Bacbac, DA-CAR NUPAP Focal Person, said that since this is the first year of implementation, only Baguio City and Tabuk City are eligible as beneficiaries. “For future implementation years, neighboring municipalities that qualify for the peri-urban area will be included as beneficiaries,” she added.
The High Value Crops Development Program of the DA-CAR will take the lead in the successful implementation of this Program. Before implementation commence, qualified beneficiaries must comply with the requirements set by the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Management Information System as stated in the DA Memorandum Order No. 50, series of 2020. By LDMendoza