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Iloilo town establishes communal food forests.

Miagao town in Iloilo province is paving the way to food sufficiency by establishing an area for a communal food forest in each of its 119 villages.

Under the town's Miagao Action on Cleanliness (MAC) program, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) spearheads the implementation of communal food forests which requires each village to allot an area for fruit-bearing trees.

MENRO designate Isidro Mosura, Jr., in a phone interview Tuesday, said the program can make the town become food sufficient at the same time help counter climate change.

'One of the strategies to combat climate change is to anchor human with the environment. We see forests as life. We see forests as food,' Mosura said.

He said most of the food served on the Filipino table are plants or fruits heavy with chemicals. Growing fruit trees in Miagao villages will provide the town with a safe and abundant supply of fruits.

'We are seeing this as a way for Miagao to have abundant food supply in the future, that we will not depend on other countries to supply us with food,' he said.

On Tuesday, Mosura said 23 of the town's villages have already established its communal food forests with Lanutan, Bacolod, and Taal leading the implementation.

Villages that have no available area for tree-growing are being suggested by the MENRO to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with neighboring villages. 'They can use a certain area in other villages if they do not have available space in their respective villages, provided that they will take care of the fruit trees,' he said.

Trees that can be grown in the communal food forests include indigenous and high-value fruit trees like lanzones and rambutan. Locals may also opt to grow trees, which will adapt to the climate in the southern Iloilo like banana, guava, and mango trees.

Mosura said the MENRO provides the villages with the seedlings being grown at the municipal nursery.

Villages can also request the environment office any technical assistance they need in taking care of its communal food forest.

Aside from the existing communal food forests, the town is also supervising a 70-hectare assisted natural regeneration area in Onop village; 25 hectares of Agro-forestry area and 50 hectares upland agriculture in Alimodias village; and 25 hectares Agro-forestry area in Cabalaunan village.

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Publication:Philippines News Agency
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jan 7, 2020
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