Issue of March 29, 2020
     
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DA-CAR supports Baguio’s survival gardening initiatives
by Herman Danis

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera turned over 51.4 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds worth P93,775 to Baguio City through its City Veterinarian and Agriculture Office (CVAO) on March 26.

The vegetable seeds are key inputs to the survival gardening initiative of the local government unit in encouraging the participation of their constituents in food production amidst the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The assorted vegetables include barak beans, tomato, squash, pechay (flowering and black behi), cucumber, okra, pole beans and lettuce that can be grown in urban gardens and/or in pots.

The seeds were turned over by OIC Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey, together with Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo P. Daguio, and High Value Crops Development Program Focal Person Joan Bacbac to the CVAO headed by City Veterinarian Brigit Piok and staff.

Odsey said that the survival gardening project encourages the Baguio residents to plant short-term crops even in their homes especially with the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine that limits the movement of the people in the community.

Piok said the survival gardening project aims to have a sustainable and available source of nutritious food like vegetables.

She added that the resident will be able to provide food for their family and to boost their mental and physical health.

“The provision of seeds from the DA is a great support for the survival gardening project to address the needs of the resident in Baguio City,” she said.

Piok said that prior to the distribution of seeds, the residents must have prepared planting containers or plots with soil ready for planting. The Office will also be validating and monitoring the seed beneficiaries.

Earlier, the DA through Sec. William Dar issued an appeal to local chief executives (LCEs) to ensure that operations related to food production, processing, manufacturing, transport, and delivery are sustained to maintain the production of food and bring these to major market destinations.

Even as the DA-Cordillera commends the survival garden initiative, it is now also preparing a project with the Baguio City-CVAO for the implementation of their “Gulayan sa Barangay and Urban Gardening” to ensure food adequacy, availability, and sufficiency in the city.

In fact, the DA-Cordillera in partnership with the Office of Baguio Rep. Mark Go have distributed sets/units of agricultural inputs and equipment purposely in support to the establishment of this “Gulayan sa Barangay” early this year.  

This year, the DA sought to support 300 barangays identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera and three urban gardens in barangays Ambiong, Pacdal, and Irisan.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan is another continuing project of the agency that aims to support 25 schools in each city such as Baguio City; Tabuk City, Kalinga; and 25 schools in each provinces in the Cordillera.

The DA is hoping to deliver the seeds and other interventions like garden hose, tools, and fertilizers once the ECQ is lifted.


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