By JJ Landingin

BAGUIO CITY — Renewed interest in urban farming in Baguio with 7 million in available funding for aquaponics and strawberry farmer for residents.

With survival gardens in the city making a comeback after the declaration of enhance community quarantine (ECQ) last March.

The city veterinary and agriculture office (CVAO) will embark on two projects this year worth a combined P7.1 million in line with the city government’s thrust of achieving food security amidst the coronavirus-19 pandemic.

Baguio City is encouraging the 128 barangays in the city to develop unused patches of land in their community for aquaponic farms or strawberry gardens. (Photo by JJ Landingin and File)

In Monday’s flag-raising rites, CVAO head Dr. Brigit Piok said her office and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office will embark on a P2.1 million Urban Aquaculture (Aquaponics) project.

The project’s entire funding will be provided by the BFAR as per an earlier request by Mayor Benjamin Magalong to the DA, she disclosed.

She explained that aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish and other aquatic animals, and hydroponics or the growing of plants without soil.

Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination where plants are fed the aquatic animals’ discharge or waste, Piok added.

“Aquaponics is perfect for Baguio since only a limited area is required or a minimum of four-square meters,” she said.

DA officials shows a demo urban aquaponics farming with 7.1 million pesos available for funding. (Photo by JJ Landingin and File)

Piok revealed that ten aquaponic areas will be established this year costing P40,000 per area in selected places in the city while around 43 are scheduled to be set up in 2021.

Another program of the CVAO is the P5 million city government funded raised bed strawberry production project with six growing houses to be set up in chosen barangays this year at P200,000 per unit.

She said that 19 more will be established next year should this year’s pilot implementation prove to be successful.