Amid rising food prices in urban areas, the government is bolstering its provision of interventions that support production, processing, and transport of agricultural and fisheries commodities.
Engr. Benjamin Ramirez (Muntinlupa Extension Services Office Assistant Head), Mr. Jayson Villareal (staff), Ms.May Santiago (City Architect), and Carl Bequillo (Planning Officer) welcomed Engr. Benjamin Baradi II and Engr. Emer Rose Asug of DA-BAFE’s Programs and Projects Management Division during their visit to the Muntinlupa City LGU last January 19, 2023.
Agricultural engineering interventions have the potential to address rising prices of basic commodities by increasing food supply and efficiency in the food value chain in highly urbanized cities (HUCs).
The creation of City Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) offices would strengthen the capacity of local government units (LGUs) to perform functions related to agri-fisheries mechanization, irrigation, farm-to-market roads, and other rural infrastructures, said DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico.
In accordance with the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, LGUs are now at the forefront in implementing the eight devolved functions, services and facilities which shall be assumed by LGU ABE offices.
Engineers from DA-BAFE visited Muntinlupa City LGU to present the areas for collaboration and complementation of ABE services in their locality and to provide assistance on the creation of ABE Unit.
While Muntinlupa City has very little to no arable lands, there are various privately-owned cold storage, slaughterhouse, processing facilities, post-harvest facilities, and fishing communities in the city, according to the Muntinlupa Extension Services Office Assistant Head, Engr. Benjamin Ramirez.
The LGU-owned projects include the Demo Farm Training and Assessment Center which we plan to request assistance with TESDA with regards the training component. Over-all, the city is prioritizing income-generating projects which would be possible with the organization of the ABE unit, said Engr. Ramirez.
“Since cities cater the largest garbage sites where ABE technologies such as the provision of Composting Facilities for Biodegradable Waste (CFBW) and Biodigester can be integrated, agricultural and biosystems engineers in HUCs play a crucial role,” said Dir. Rico. “Residential farms can draw irrigation from rain catchment facilities or treated water from wastewater recycling facilities,” he added.
Last January 24, 2023, DA-BAFE led the discussion with the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), and DA-Field Operations Service (FOS) regarding the existing and proposed agri-fisheries mechanization and infrastructure programs and projects to be implemented in HUCs, particularly those near BAFE such as Quezon City and Manila.
The DA-BAFE is closely coordinating with the LGUs in the National Capital Region to roll-out this information on ABE strengthening. The bureau aspires to expand these efforts with other HUCs in NCR such as Quezon City and Manila within this year. ###DA-BAFE ICTST
Date Published: February 15, 2023