By Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched the Urban Agriculture Project as part of its “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” with a donation of assorted vegetable seeds and seedlings to the City Government of Muntinlupa on April 7, 2020.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi also signed the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the establishment of community gardens under DA’s Urban Agriculture Project.
Secretary Dar highlighted the importance of the project in securing food for urban families especially during the enhanced community quarantine period.
Based on the MOU, the DA commits to provide initial inputs such as seeds, seedlings, soil, and compost and give technical assistance in establishing urban gardens. The local government’s counterpart is to provide the required area for the establishment of the gardens and ensure the sustainability of the project.
The DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) has initially provided 500 packets of kangkong, mustasa, pechay, eggplant, ampalaya, and upo seeds to the Muntinlupa City Government. In addition, 200 seedlings of kangkong, okra, tomato, ampalaya, eggplant, and squash were turned over to promote urban agriculture in the city.
The DA-BPI Centers nationwide have started providing free vegetable seeds and seedlings to individuals and households as part of the DA’s initiative to enable them to grow their own food to meet the nutritional requirement of the family.
Inquiries regarding the free seed distribution may be sent to the Urban Agriculture hotlines 0916-053-4831 (for Smart subscribers) and 0956-524-5187 (for Globe subscribers).