URBAN FARMING.  Iloilo City Agriculturist Iñigo Garingalao on Wednesday (June 29, 2022) says 180 barangays and schools are expected to embark on urban farming. An ordinance approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod has institutionalized urban agriculture in the city. (PNA photo by Perla G. Lena)

ILOILO CITY – This highly urbanized city's 180 barangays and schools are expected to engage in farming after the approval of an ordinance institutionalizing urban agriculture.

"This is a landmark ordinance. This ordinance would enjoin all barangays to have area for food sources, may it be temporary or owned by the government," said Iloilo City Agriculturist Iñigo Garingalao in a press conference on Wednesday.

He said residents may engage in a container, vertical, or any type of gardening doable in the urban setting with the assistance of his office and other departments of the city government.

All schools also need to have their vegetable garden.

Garingalao added that the ordinance mandates the provision of PHP1.5 million yearly as seed capital to be used for procurement of seeds, vermicast and other inputs, and additional personnel at the Office of City Agriculturist.

"Gradually the stakeholders will be oriented about the ordinance for its implementation," he said.

Currently, around 300 hectares in the city are planted with rice and vegetables.

Twenty barangays identified by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have engaged in container gardening for disaster-prone coastal barangays and Iloilo riverbanks.

Another 32 villages are into vegetable gardening under the JPT Ediscape (Jerry P. Treñas edible landscaping) mobilizing communities to produce vegetables not just for food amid the health pandemic but also as a source of livelihood.

"An Ordinance Institutionalizing Urban Agriculture in the City of Iloilo " authored by outgoing Councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda was approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod two weeks ago. (PNA)