THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

DA, QC launch urban agri to attain ‘household food security’

Author: DA-AFID | 16 April 2020

To ensure household food security amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte formally launched a city-wide urban agriculture program, with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA), April 16, 2020, at the QC hall grounds.

“With the partnership, the DA and the QC government will enable residents to produce their own vegetables that are safe, nutritious, and readily available,” Dar said.

“The vegetable gardens can serve not only as source of food and livelihood, but also of additional income for those who will sell their surplus production in nearby markets,” he added.

Under the MOA, the DA through its Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) with support of the Plant Industry (BPI) will provide QC residents with vegetable seeds and seedlings, garden soil and compost, as well as technical assistance, to ensure the sustainability of the urban agriculture program.

“Food security is important in combating Covid-19. Kung walang pagkain, hindi ka rin magiging resistant sa sakit. Kaya naman, it is the DA’s priority to keep every Filipino healthy and full,” Dar said.

The DA in coordination with the QC government will establish ‘kitchen’ vegetable plots in appropriate areas in all barangays and villages. Further, the DA will ‘adopt’ three QC barangays — Payatas, Bagong Silang and Holy Spirit — where it will establish community gardens that will showcase organic, ecological and conventional vegetable production, in partnership with the private sector, particularly with the member-companies of the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA).

During the simple program launch, secretary Dar and Mayor Belmonte distributed to QC barangay leaders ‘starter kits’ that contain seeds, compost, instructional materials and polyethylene bags. The DA also handed over other assistance like plastic sheets for greenhouses and knapsack sprayers.

“We will implement the urban agriculture program nationwide in partnership with LGUs, schools and universities, and public offices and commercial landowners with idle spaces,” Dar explained.

For bigger spaces, they can go into aquaponics that combines raising vegetables and tilapia, or poultry raising,” he added.

“The urban agriculture initiative serves as one of the DA strategies to provide Filipino families, including city dwellers, who were affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, with adequate, accessible and affordable food,” the DA chief said.

“With this project, we are empowering urban residents to be self-reliant and enjoy a regular source of nutritious vegetables,” he said.

Under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program, the DA will massively promote urban and community agriculture as one of its interventions to help ensure availability of and access to food nationwide. ### (Adora D. Rodriguez, AFID-DA Comms)


Noel Ocampo Reyes
DA Spokesperson & A/Sec for Strategic Comms
09204889686 09566694611 89298183

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