The East-West Seed Foundation (EWSF) has partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to promote vegetable gardening in the homes starting in four provinces, namely, Antique, Capiz, Batangas, and Cavite.

The public-private partnership project will help families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) establish and sustain their household vegetable gardens. The goal is to increase household food supply and to contribute to the improvement of the overall health of the 4Ps beneficiaries.

The program could eventually motivate the beneficiaries to go into vegetable production as a source of income, using the technology they have learned from their training. They could grow different high-yielding vegetables, like those developed by East-West, that they can sell in the market.

A farmer teaching a student how to plant vegetable.

The project consists of a series of vegetable farming trainings and nutrition education campaigns. For those with limited spaces, urban gardening techniques will be taught. Set to be initially launched in 500 households in Antique, Capiz, Batangas, and Cavite, the project will also train and develop 4Ps parents and field workers to become “barefoot technicians” or community gardening champions who will promote the value of household gardening in their respective communities.

The partnership will provide EWS Foundation the opportunity to fulfill its vision of food security and quality nutrition education for Filipino communities, according to Crisanto R. Sabino, EWSF executive director.

Sabino added that they are also working with CARD-MRI Development Institute, and Nestle Philippines to reach more communities and develop more vegetable gardens in public schools. The partnership with CMDI will be initially launched in communities in Laguna.

On the other hand, the partnership with Nestle Philippines focuses on educating Filipino youth on the importance of eating vegetables for improved nutrition through the school-based vegetable gardening program.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2018 issue.