North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco is strongly pushing for home-based gardening and other livelihood projects for her 1.3 million constituents amid the threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Catamco pressed for the initiative as people from several parts of the world, including the Philippines, are facing a possible food shortage, forcing panic-buying and food hoarding amid community quarantine and lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Hunger is an enormous challenge, and we shall combat this problem straight into its core. We will encourage our people to produce their own vegetables and root crops by providing them with seeds, knowledge, and technology,” she said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Catamco added that the provincial government would provide farmers’ groups and individuals with upgraded newly hatched chickens that they can raise and make food or sell within two months.
Before the hazards of Covid-19 were raised, she said people in the province, even those from remote villages, were dependent on imported rice and processed food, such as canned goods and instant noodles, as their usual daily food.
“Now, we will start to plant our own vegetables and raise animals for our own consumption, a safety measure that will assure our people they will not go hungry if the lockdown will drag on for months,” Catamco said.
She noted that while the government focuses on how to curtail the spread of Covid-19 by limiting the movement of Cotabateños through general community quarantine, the provincial government has recognized its economic impact on ordinary people.
“Thus, there is a need to be proactive to avoid hunger,” Catamco said.
To date, North Cotabato remains free from Covid-19 but has 43 persons under investigation and 1,448 persons under monitoring.
“We, the leaders of this province, want it to remain zero. I assure everyone that we are in control and we are doing our best in protecting our people from this dreaded disease,” she said. (PNA)
Photo Credit: facebook.com/cotabatoprovinceofficial