Issue of September 8, 2019
     
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Benguet
Ifugao
Mt. Province
 
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Pantawid beneficiaries take pride in success of gulayan
by Marlo C. Abyado, Jr. with reports from Rizelle M. Caswang

Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamil-yang Pilipino Program in the 10 barangays of Tubo, Abra are now reaping the benefits of their establishing a Gulayan sa Barangay, a year ago.

The project is a concerted effort that shows how vegetables bring life to the community through volunteerism, hard work, and collaboration. 

With the primary aim to produce fresh and organic vegetables that would eliminate malnutrition and hunger in every household, the Gulayan, parent beneficiaries already have their own backyard gardens and small farms as their source of livelihood. 

Before the Gulayan sa Barangay project, the Pantawid parent beneficiaries experienced challenges such as the absence of an area to cultivate their gardens, farm inputs to be used, and how to sustain the project. 

But with the interest and willingness of some parent beneficiaries, they offered a portion of their farms for the communal garden. The other members also shared their seedlings from their backyard gardens. They worked once a week to cultivate their crops and vegetables. 

The beneficiaries also underwent capacity building activities prior to the establishment of the communal garden. An orientation on bio-intensive gardening, gulayan sa barangay, clean and green program, and vegetable and herbal planting was incorporated in the monthly Pantawid Pamilya family development sessions.

In the highland barangays of Alangtin, Tubtuba, Dilong and Tabcada, the beneficiaries planted a variety of crops like cabbage, pechay, squash, and Baguio beans among other crops. In the lowland barangays of Amtaugan, Kili, Poblacion, Supo Tiempo, and Wayangan, the beneficiaries cultivated corn, okra, eggplant, tomato, bitter gourd, pechay, and string beans among other crops.

Each Gulayan sa Barangay has their own cropping pattern that depends on the farm elevation but they cultivate their farm year-round. The production in highland areas is from October to March and from May to September in the lowland areas. 

The project later involved the local government unit of Tubo through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist that organized seminar-workshops on organic agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture provided high-value vegetable seedlings.

The Pantawid beneficiaries ensure that the vegetables produced are safe to consume. The Gulayan sa Barangay project adheres to organic farming methods.  

Rizelle Caswang, MAT Leader and Municipal Link assigned in Tubo, said the Gulayan sa Barangay contributes to the healthy lifestyle of the partner beneficiaries by providing fresh, safe, affordable herbs, fruits, and vegetables. 

In addition, the parent beneficiaries were able to save money because they do not need to go to the market to buy vegetables since they can produce their own.

Their neighbors also patronize their fresh vegetables. In fact, some barangays are already gaining from the project.

The parent groups are planning to expand their farm production and to add more kinds of vegetables in response to the growing demand of the market.

The vegetables produced from the Gulayan sa Barangay are also being sold for the supplementary feeding program of DSWD.


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