Some barangay officials and residents Tuesday, January 12, unveiled a nine by 6 meter structure that will be its strawberry greenhouse once completed in two weeks time atop its four story barangay hall.
Middle Rock Quarry barangay chair Arnold Camongao led his constituents in joining City Veterinary and Agriculture Office chief Dr. Bridget Piok and Green Leaf Concepts, Services and Products Co. head Anton Mendoza in unveiling the steel structure that will house beds of strawberries atop the barangay hall on a cold Tuesday morning.
Camongao said that he is happy his constituents are eager to go gardening even if his barangay is literally on rocks that has been the wonder among his fellow barangay chairs.
“I am really happy that our constituents pursue gardening and our barangay hall has this rooftop garden that has been cited by the city government. This is even a wonder among my fellow barangay chairs, amazed that we were able to garden despite living in a rocky area,” said Camongao minutes before they cut the ribbon officially starting the sustainable gardening program that mayor Benjamin Magalong pushed.
Magalong wanted an alternative livelihood not only for residents but also barangays due to the Covid-19 pandemic which made him pursue the project.
The structure, the plastic coverings, the strawberry beds made of steel and its mistifier that will water the strawberry at any time will cost some P200,000 which the city loaned to the barangay to start up strawberry production.
Mendoza said that they will construct same structures in five other barangays at a cost of P1.2 million. Aside from Middle Rock Quarry, the barangays eyed for the project are: Loakan-Apugan, Lower Dagsian, Mines View, Bakakeng Norte and Slaughter House at the CVAO building.
The facility, Mendoza said, could yield a minimum of 40 kilos to a max of 100 kilos per week. He said that yield could mean a P27,000 earning for the barangay and least P80,000 a month that makes the barangay capable of paying the loan in 10 months.
However, instead of paying, the money is then given to the next barangay that will host its own sustainable garden of strawberry like a “pay-pass” scheme.
He said Green Leaf will be buying the product for the first three months for them “to establish their cash flow.” Green Leaf will lend its expertise the first 11 months by then the barangay has the option to retain their ”service” and status as buyer.
“We will start with one, then if it succeeds, then we will pursue the others,” said Piok of the project that has an initial budget of P5 million which will be augmented by the Department of Agriculture.
Mendoza said that their concept is maximizing small lots in highly urbanized cities like Baguio into something productive like strawberry farms. He said that even a 20 square meter lot could be utilized into a greenhouse where production is non-stop for a year, since the plants are in a controlled environment – safe from event the harshest weather condition like typhoons.
Mendoza was even able to convert a terraced walling into strawberry farms like the de Guia property along General Lim.