By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY — Some 3,541 kilograms of assorted vegetables seeds worth P11.3 millon has been distributed  by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR), to enhance families survival in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
DA Regional Director Dr.Cameron Odsey, said “Families will now have the opportunity to produce their own fresh and healthy food from their backyards in these times of enhanced community quarantine.”
He said that the home/survival gardening is expected to augment the local food supply and to provide access to food during this COVID-19 pandemic.
 Joan Bacbac, coordinator of the DA-CAR High Value Cops and Development Program (HVCDP), echoes the need to plant during these uncertain times, even as she stresses that the Cordillera has enough supply of vegetables to meet consumer requirements for the rest of the year.
Bacbac said the seeds distributed throughout the region were a mix of annual (short term) and perennial (long term) crops. The short term crops included pechay, lettuce, spinach, beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli while the perennials are eggplant, squash, patola, ampalaya, okra and tomatoes.
Augmenting the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant program, Baguio City has purchased vegetable seeds for its constituents under the Urban Gardening Project.
The project is a joint undertaking with DA-CAR which aims to ensure food security for its participants. With the ECQ, these urban gardens are now also a means of survival.
Aside from the 500 vegetable growers and 10,000 urban households, other groups have benefited from the distribution of vegetables seeds.
These include cut flower farmers, the association of taxi drivers, the Presidential Security Group, the Folk Singers of Baguio-Benguet, NGOs, various clans, members of the media, and others whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the ECQ.