BALANGA CITY, Bataan- About 630 farmers here produce 4.25 metric tons of palay per year despite the unprecedented economic growth of the premier investment hub among the list of component cities in Central Luzon.
Ronnie Lopez, supervising agriculturist of Balanga City, said some 1,053 hectares of irrigated and rain fed agricultural lands have been classified as productive to high-variety of palay which supply the mounting demand of the residents for staple food.
Lopez explained that the food production program initiated in 2008 by former City Mayor now Representative of the 2ndDistrict of Bataan, Congressman Joet S. Garcia, remains the primary and strategic agricultural thrust being continued by his younger brother Mayor Francis S. Garcia.
According to Lopez, the City Agricultural Office has allocated funding for the improvement of farm facilities and farm inputs to ensure that the productive volume and quality of agricultural crops would enhance the livelihood of the people in the countryside.
One of the much admired contributions of the Barangay Week program of then Mayor Joet Garcia, is the implementation of Kasama Ani sa Barangay (KAANIB) which focused on encouraging the residents of Balanga City to participate in vegetable backyard gardening which would improve the healthy atmosphere and provide extra earnings for the rural households, Lopez said.
He added the residents should undertake progressive and schematic preparations to interlink small farming ventures to the swelling corporate status of the province’s educational, commercial and financial center.
Farmers should look for more constructive and effective ways to join in the road to prosperity with the formation of small and medium enterprises utilizing farm products, Lopez said.