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Philippines; Urban agriculture in Cagayan de Oro - Growing Cities Growing Food

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    CITY CASE STUDY CAGAYAN DE ORO

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    URBAN AGRICULTURE IN CAGAYAN DE ORO: A

    FAVOURABLE RESPONSE OF CITY GOVERNMENT AND

    NGOS

    G.E. Potutan, W.H. Schnitzler, J.M. Arnado, L.G. Janubas and R.J. Holmer

    1. Introduction

    Cagayan de Oro is a boomtown located on the central coast of Northern Mindanaoin the Southern Philippines. Its total land area is about 48,885 ha. Of this area44.7% is classified as agricultural and 38.4% as open space. Annual rainfall is

    1,600 mm per year. The mean annual temperature is 27

    0

    C.

    About 500,000 people presently live in Cagayan, predominantly in urban areas.The annual population growth is 4.4%, compared to 2.3% nationally. Since 1960,the population has doubled. The number of households increased to 84,085 in 1995- an increase of 21,589 households since 1990. The average household sizedeclined from 5.4 persons to 5.1 persons over the same five-year period. Eighty-two percent of the population lives in urban areas. Population density is 3,519persons/km2 in urban barangays1 and 203 persons/km

    2 in periurban2 ones. Theaverage population density is 876 persons/km2.

    The population of Cagayan de Oro is young; the median age is 20.6 years(National Statistics Office 1997). Thirty-seven percent of the population is between0 - 14 years, 61% is in the productive age group between 15 - 64 years and 2.4% is65 and older.Agriculture employs about 9% of the total economically active population (CityPlanning and Development Office 1995).

    In Cagayan, 79% of the land is periurban and 21% is urban. Topographically, the

    city covers: a) 33,000 ha of coastal land (ca. 70%); b) 12,000 ha of hilly andmountainous land (ca. 25%); and c) 3,800 ha of riparian land (ca. 5%). Of the22,000 ha allocated by the city for agriculture, only 2,276 ha (10%) is used forcrop production. Some farming occurs on steep and rocky "marginal" areas, ofwhich another part is dedicated to forestry. Though actual figures are not available,it is estimated that about 50% of agricultural areas are solely dedicated toagriculture.

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    The soils in periurban barangays are regarded as first class, while the commonlyfound soils in urban barangays are regarded as second class.

    Table 1: Actual land use in Cagayan de Oro City

    Actual land use Area

    (ha)

    Percentage

    (%)

    Agricultural 21,845 44.7

    Open spaces 18,775 38.4

    Residential 4,669 9.6

    Others 2,751 5.6

    Industrial andcommercial

    815 1.7

    Total 48,885 100.0

    Source: Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department 1995.

    Most agricultural lands are situated in periurban areas. This land is largely ownedby private individuals who have tenants to till the land. More than 18,000 hacovering the coastline, parks and plazas, all river islands and all areas designatedfor approved commercial and residential subdivision plans, are classified as openspaces. Some of the open spaces in both urban and periurban areas are used forurban agriculture.

    2. Urban agricultural production

    In the periurban areas of Cagayan de Oro, some 13,000 small-scale farmers andtenants (of whom 3,000 are women) produce on 2,276 ha of land (1995). Theyproduce rice, maize, banana, coffee, root crops, fruit and vegetables, for both homeconsumption and market sales. The production is characterised by monocropping.

    Farmers report many constraints in urban crop production: pests, limitedknowledge on appropriate inputs, poor infrastructure, high rates for additionallabour, lack of capital, limited access to land, and adverse climatic conditions such

    as excessive temperatures.Levels of crop production in Cagayan de Oro are lower compared to theneighbouring rural provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, which aresituated in upland areas.

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    Table 2: Agricultural production in Cagayan de Oro Citya

    and neighbouring provinces

    Misamis Orientalb

    and Bukidnonb

    Cagayan de Oroa

    Misamis Orientalb

    Bukidnonb

    CROP Area

    (ha)

    Volume

    (t)

    Area

    (ha)

    Volume

    (t)

    Area (ha) Volume

    (t)

    Maize 1,162 1,813 8,150 15,066 195,710 402,558Rice 115 455 3,242 7,470 71,490 288,420Coffee 65 39 5,988 3,228 23,640 19,478Fruit 579 12,420 2,179 25,220 35,766 375,026Root crops 304 2706 1,029 7,344 10,016 88,399Vegetables 55 560 791 5,336 1,642 18,059

    TOTAL 2,280 17,993 21,379 63,654 338,264 1,191,940

    a) 1995; b) 1990Source: City Agriculture Office; Department of Agriculture Region X, 1995.

    2.1 Periurban vegetable production

    Some farms specialise in commercial vegetable production. The average farm sizeis 1.7 ha and on average 0.5 ha is planted with vegetables. On 55 ha, or 2% of thecultivated area close to the city, vegetables were grown in 1995 (City Planning andDevelopment Office 1995).

    Most farmers grow eggplant, squash, string beans, tomatoes, bell pepper and bittergourd. The yields of bell pepper, tomato and eggplant in Cagayan de Oro are less

    than half of those obtained in the upland areas (such as in Bukidnon). Thisindicates that the varieties grown are not well adapted to the climatic conditions inthe lowlands. Findings of the Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP) survey among100 vegetable farmers showed that, for 44% of the farmers, vegetable production istheir only source of livelihood (Potutan 1998).

    Of the vegetable farmers, 46% extract water from a river or stream, 20% from deepwells, 11% from irrigation canals and 12% depend entirely on rainfall. Eighty-sixpercent of the farmers reported that they applied chemical fertilisers; 82% actively

    controlled pests, diseases and weeds in the last three crops, of which 90% usedinsecticides, 36% fungicides, 4% herbicides and 50% natural control measures. Ofthose who applied synthetic pesticides, 49% personally encountered ill effects thelast time they sprayed, including headache (55%), nausea (31%) and chest pain(14%).

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    Of farmers questioned, 24% had heard of the government Integrated PestManagement (IPM) programme and 12% of them had received training. Theimpact of IPM training was ambivalent, as 36% of farmers increased their level ofpesticide use after receiving training, 36% maintained the same level of pesticideuse and 73% just changed the commercial brand of their pesticides. Only 27%reported that they decreased the level of pesticide application and used less toxicchemicals after receiving IPM training.

    Vegetable farmers mentioned more than 15 constraints to higher levels ofvegetable production. The most frequently mentioned constraints are unfavourableclimatic conditions (63%), insect damage (53%), lack of capital (53%) andirregular water supply (23%). Among other notable limitations to vegetablefarming were the presence of plant diseases (7%), poor soil fertility (7%), poor

    water quality (5%) and a lack of access to marketing facilities (3%).

    2.2 Livestock

    The livestock - including poultry - industry in the city can be categorised intocommercial and domestic production. In 1995, production reached 158,000 head,of which 135,000 were chickens (see Table 3). There is only one slaughterhouse inthe city, which also caters for neighbouring towns. It is inadequate to cater to theneeds of the growing population.

    Table 3: Livestock population in Cagayan de Oro (1992-1995)

    Species 1992 1993 1994 1995

    CarabaosPigsGoatsCattleHorsesChickensDucks

    1,59310,237

    3,5234,570453

    75,000--

    1,60910,2043,5234,581462

    74,999--

    1,36713,9863,3375,245424

    74,874--

    1,41112,3993,2524,010

    409135,072

    1,350Total 95,376 95,378 99,233 157,903

    Source: City Veterinary Office.

    Animals kept for home consumption are also slaughtered at home. No data havebeen recorded as to how much meat is produced by livestock reared at home.

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    2.3 Other types of urban agriculture

    2.3.i Backyard gardening

    Backyard gardening is common. The City Agriculture Office (CAO) estimates thatabout 40% of all households (94,672 in1997) maintain backyard gardens. Theseproduce mainly leafy vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants. The fact that thispractice is common in both urban and periurban areas signifies its economicimportance: families can save on food items, which they would otherwise have tobuy. In addition, most households own domesticated animals.

    2.3.ii. School gardensNinety-six percent (75 out of 78) of public elementary schools in Cagayan de Oromaintain a school garden. This activity is pursued by pupils as part of the school

    curriculum and supervised by principals and teachers. The size allotted for gardensranges from 500-1,000 m2. The pupils usually plant leafy vegetables, fruits,ornamental and herbal plants. In some schools, pa

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