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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved an ordinance institutionalizing the Baguio Urban Gardening with the 4H Club-Young Farmer School Program (BUG-4-H) and providing funds for the said purpose.
City legislators stated that the city government devoted its strategic development agenda to empowering the youth, and that the city’s youth can transform the agriculture sector through innovation and prepare them as the next leaders in agricultural production and food security.
The ordinance shall be applied to all persons within the various barangays of the city, especially the youth, both in and out-of-school youth (OSY), including Sangguniang Kabataan, local youth development council members, and other youth organizations.
The ordinance aims to actively involve the youth in growing safe and healthy agricultural crops; capacitate the 4-H Club members, young farmers, parents and the Gulayan School coordinators by making them competent in the field of agri-crop production; establish urban gardening techno-demo farm schools and vegetable production facilities in the city through series of hands on gardening activities; introduce to the youth proper waste management as it utilizes waste water and organic kitchen waste in the production of crops and train the youth on urban agriculture and guide them to venture into farm entrepreneurship and boost agri-tourism industry in the city.
The council added that the agricultural services division of the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) must initiate partnership with stakeholders to gain their commitment to the youth and their parents, including the Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Training Institute and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of the city.
According to the council, participants who are qualified to undergo the national certification assessment on agri-crop production shall be referred to the assessors in coordination with farmer field school focal person of the agriculture department and that passers shall provide assistance as trainers and resource speakers on agri-crop production.
The CVAO shall ensure the establishment of farm schools in the city as basic training and production facilities for agri-crop production and that the site identification shall be the responsibility of the Sangguniang Kabataan in their respective barangays, partner schools, partner organizations organized by the city and city youth development council members.
Moreover, the maintenance of the farm school shall be done by the 4-H Club in coordination with the Sangguniang Kabataan and the CVAO.
The council stipulated that the appropriation required for the effective implementation of the proposed measure shall be taken from the annual budget of the city government and CVAO in the amount of P250,000 and every year thereafter. The SK, if capable, will provide a counterpart to be taken from their annual barangay youth and investment program under the mine youth centers under economic development.
By Dexter A. See, photo by Joseph B. Manzano