Bago City in the Philippines is the “Rice Granary of Negros Occidental”. Our majestic biodiversity nurtured by a multitude of farming villages ensure the food security of the city and the Negros Island. Our farmers and fisherfolks are the backbone of our progress and development. Located in one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, it is a yearly goal of our destination to pursue the vision that Bagonhon farmers will soon no longer become susceptible to extreme climatic conditions. That they will be ready to face these challenges by transitioning to a more resilient, regenerative and climate change adaptive agriculture that would breed a food sufficient agroecological destination. Years ago, the agricultural system in our locale was not cohesively updated and had a lot of grey areas. Through organizing our farmers and fishermen into community-based organizations, the gaps were gradually closed and our agroecological struggles eased. Farmers education became one of the keys that shifted the paradigm from conventional to “Climate Smart Agriculture”. Government support in terms of agricultural development programs, technology and finance boosted up our farmers’ confidence in making progress to fully embrace sustainable and regenerative farming, further making agriculture the number one industry in our city. With this and parallel to a climate resilient agricultural system, our Local Government was able to establish a strong Food Security Program. This has been one of the elements that had weathered Bago City through food sufficiency challenges especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. Our destination is a Hall of Fame awardee in the “Rice Awards” of the Philippines in recognition of the increase in its annual yield of rice production from 119,528.36 MT in 2018 to 123,048.01 MT in 2019. Rice is the staple food of Filipinos.
By growing a food sufficient and climate smart destination many more of our diverse natural bounties thrived robustly and our farming communities flourished with vigor. In our rich soils and waters are extraordinary food biodiversity like the Ark of Taste’s “Criollo Cacao” and the “Bago River Eel”. Our heirloom variety Criollo Cacao was declared as a Gold Winner in the 2021 International Cocoa Awards in Paris, France. Bago City also produce export quality muscovado sugar, rhum, indigenous crafts and silk from silkworm. With these premiums, our farms and farmers are now regenerated with the enthusiasm and determination to advance Bago City as a “booming green Agroecological Destination and the Food Basket of the Negros Island”.
Keywords: agriculture , tradition conservation , rural development , training and education, stakeholder engagement, community based