DA PUSHES AGRI PARTNERSHIPS WITH LGUs
To ensure food accessibility and an additional source of income in urban communities, the Department of Agriculture (DA) forged partnerships with local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of the High-Value Crops Development Program’s Community Gardening Project.
The project, which forms part of the DA’s Urban Agriculture and Plant Plant Plant Programs, aims to establish vegetable production areas in pockets of available lands and to diversify the source of livelihood of people in urban communities.
On July 2, 2021, the DA, through Undersecretary for High-Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn G. Laviña Rosario, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with LGU of Rosario through Cavite Mayor Jose Voltaire V. Ricafrente III, for the establishment of communal gardens in the municipality.
Aside from ensuring food accessibility and availability, the project also highlighted the role of women in the community as it involves the wives of fishermen.
As initial assistance, containerized gardening and hydroponics set-up were provided and training will also be conducted to capacitate the beneficiaries.
UA National Director and concurrent Assistant Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry Gerald Glenn Panganiban said that, the urban agriculture program is a collaborative partnership between DA and LGUs. “We can’t do it alone. Sana ay patuloy nyo kami suporthan sa initiative na ‘to,” he said.
For her part, Usec. Laviña said that the pandemic is an eye-opener as it helped the department to prioritize and identify appropriate interventions. “We’re still looking around and see what we can do,” she said.
During the MOA signing, almost Php700 thousand agri and fishery interventions from the DA-Regional Field Office IVA and DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources were awarded to representatives of more than 200 beneficiaries to start up five target sites.
These include multi-tiller, grass cutter, vermicast, blue plastic drums, seedling trays, garden tools, plastic mulch, calamansi trees, papaya seedlings, assorted vegetable seeds, seedling bags, bottom set fillet sets, and materials to construct four fiberglass bancas.
Aside from the interventions given to the municipality of Rosario, the department will also link their products to export markets through the DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service.