By Jo Ann Grace Pera, DA-AFID

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, together with the Bureau of Plant and Industry Director George Culaste and Assistant Director Glenn Panganiban, turned over today, May 27 vegetable seeds and seedlings to Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Barangay Chairman Sigfred Hernani of Brgy. 128 Paradise Heights, Smokey Mountain, Tondo to jumpstart their community urban agriculture project.

“We thank Manila Mayor Isko for partnering with the DA’s Urban Agriculture Program in empowering the urban poor. Para habang naka-lockdown ang mga tao sa mga barangay nila ay meron din silang ginagawa to help ensure household food security. Pwede silang magtanim ng mga gulay sa backyard na pwedeng anihin in one to two months,” Dar said.

Urban agriculture, which aims to empower city dwellers to grow their own food to attain household food security, is part of the government’s Plant, Plant, Plant program. The project campaigns for the establishment of community gardens in open spaces in the barangay level that may provide extra income in case of surplus production.

“We are here as your partner in urban gardening through the DA’s Bureau of Plant and Industry,” Dar said.

The secretary also encouraged them to identify areas where they could raise poultry and small ruminant animals such as native chicken and goat.

During the discussion, Dar explained how the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), an agency under the DA, is promoting urban gardening through online education.

For his part, Mayor Isko thanked the agri chief for launching the KADIWA sa Maynila in October last year.

Gamit na gamit ng mga tao ang KADIWA lalo na ngayon,” he said.

He also assured Dar that the city government will partner with DA in all its initiatives related to urban agriculture. “Let’s plant, plant, plant,” he said.

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