In a bid to boost food sufficiency across the region, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 10 on Saturday said it dispensed a total of 585 packets of assorted vegetable seeds to different offices within the city.
DA-RFO 10 technical director for operations Carlota S. Madriaga, who handed over the seed interventions, said each packet of the veggie seeds weighing 36 grams can cover up to 1,000 square meter area.
The said intervention is part of DA Secretary William Dar’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program, also known as Agri 4Ps, as it targets to increase the country’s food adequacy level, especially amidst the prevailing health crisis.
Recipients include Tamboboan and Kauswagan barangay councils, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), and the Philippine National Police-Regional Maritime Unit 10 (PNP-RMU 10).
Meanwhile, the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) received pinakbet variant (5-in-1) of veggie seeds, consisting of ampalaya, okra, string beans, squash and eggplant.
Aside from the pinakbet variant, PCUP has also availed of the sinigang 5-in-1 packet, which consists of kangkong, radish, tomato, string beans and okra.
For barangays Tamboboan and Kauswagan, they are set to hold an urban gardening contest in their respective barangays to showcase the produce of the vegetable seeds obtained from DA.
“Through this activity, the locals will be encouraged to start their own vegetable gardens, where they can get nutritious food during the health crisis,” the barangay representatives said.
PCUP-Fields Operations Division for Mindanao Assistant Regional Director Cynthia B. Rosales said the seeds will be used for their urban container gardening project in collaboration with the Agricultural Productivity Office (Apo).
Apo will assist in the provision of technical expertise during training in select barangays to pilot the project.
Rosales said the seeds will be given as start-up seeds to the participants of the training, while PCUP will monitor the commitments of involved barangays who will be engaging in the gardening activity.
Meanwhile, PNP-RMU 10 will share the seeds to all of its stations for backyard gardening to benefit its personnel and locals nearby.
Clenro will also distribute the packets of seeds to their beneficiaries in the hinterland barangays of the city, who have their own communal gardens.
Joining hands with DepEd
Meanwhile, with the agency’s aim to enrich the students’ mental and social adequacy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, more public schools in the city obtained vegetable seeds from the DA RFO-10.
A total of 1,800 packets of assorted vegetable seeds were given to four schools — Gusa Regional Science High School (GRSHS), Gusa National High School (GNHS), Bugo Central School (BCS) and Puerto Elementary School.
The Department of Education (DepEd) office in this city will conduct mental health and psychosocial support activities to promote school learners, parents and personnel’s well-being.
Through their “My Pet Plant Project”, the students will learn how to grow and appreciate the nature of plants while documenting the planting of the seeds up to its harvest.
According to GRSHS teacher Shoji-an D. Daradal, all stages in the plants’ growth will relate to the subjects being taught to students.
BCS teacher Elsa Ylanan said the students will be provided with seeds along with answer sheets for them to record their observations in the nature of growing vegetables in their respective homes.
GNHS administrative staff Pio Jaime A. Amigo said such school activity will uplift the morale and provide psychosocial support for the students and the parents amid the ongoing crisis.
Overall, more than 5,000 students from these schools are targeted to benefit from the free veggie seeds of DA. (PNA)