Admitting that Iloilo City no longer has space to grow its own produce to feed its people, the local government unit here plans to establish post-harvest facilities to accommodate surplus produce coming from the rural areas.
“With our case, we no longer have a production area in terms of commercial production. Rice producing areas have continued support to sustain their production but eventually these production areas will vanish,” City agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon said in an interview Monday.
He said only 16 percent of the land areas in the city are utilized for rice production.
Pangantihon added that they are looking into post-harvest, trading and marketing facilities.
He cited there are products that stay in warehouses of local traders and are almost spoiled upon reaching the market.
“The post-harvest was not given much attention, where one way or the other can help a lot in ensuring the availability of food,” he said.
The target is to establish the facility at the Iloilo Fishing Port Complex or adopt the food terminal concept in Manila.
“Eventually all produce from the rural areas find their way in the city because customers are here,” he said.
With the strategy, Pangantihon is optimistic that residents will be secured in terms of food requirement.
He added that in terms of lowland vegetables, the local government is sufficient because they also produce almost all varieties.
“We refocus our production on the family itself, which is at the household level. We go into vegetable production,” he said.
However, the local produce, which is only for residents, could not support the entire population, especially that Iloilo City hosts a convergence of population, he noted. (PNA)
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