By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The Summer Capital’s on-going survival garden program should be ramped up to the next level into “urban food forests” that could possibly supplement the food needs of the entire community.
City Planning and Development Office chief Donna Tabangin suggested the new project during the regular management committee meeting at City Hall presided by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“We could have city-level communal areas where we can establish food forests and edible landscapes,” Tabangin said.
The city’s survival garden initiative started March during the on-set of the coronavirus pandemic anchored on a city council resolution authored by councilor Michael Lawana aimed at mitigating its impact on the city’s food system especially in the barangays.
An offshoot of the program was the conduct of the first-ever “Baguio Survival Garden Contest” by the city government and Department of Agriculture where inter-district and city-wide winners of its in-garden and container garden categories were awarded cash prizes.
Last July, the City Health Services Office nutrition division gave city hall officials and interested employees a vegetable packets to start their own survival gardens in celebration of Nutrition Month.
Meanwhile, on the packaging of fruits and vegetables, Tabangin suggested the creation of a “challenge laboratory” where the city invites those in the industrial engineering sector and tasked to formulate the best packaging solutions of the produce.
“The proper packaging will increase the shelf life of vegetables and fruits like strawberries and even help solve the problem of waste,” Tabangin explained.
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