By Julius Barcelona, with contributions by the Las Pinas CAO and Kagawad Danilo Domingo
Pictures by Reinald Valle, Sol Molde, and the Las Pinas CAO

Las Pinas City – The Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA) continues its support for the
Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Plant Plant Plant program through the Gulayan sa Siyudad project in Las Pinas City. The DA is promoting urban agriculture as a means to support food security amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic, thus a partnership was formed between PSIA, the DA, and the Las Pinas City Agriculture Office (CAO) to establish a model farm inside the Castillan BF Resort Village (BRFV) residential subdivision.

In line with this, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by PSIA President Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc, DA Secretary Dr. William Dar, and Las Pinas City Agriculturist Ms. Leticia “Letty” dela Cruz on June 3, 2020, witnessed by PSIA Vice-President Mr. Julius Barcelona, Bayer Cropscience Market Development Manager for Vegetable Seeds Mr. Reinald Valle, and DA-BPI ASec Mr. Glenn Panganiban.

PSIA member Harbest Agribusiness Corporation set up and developed the farm, installing nursery tables, a vermicomposting area, an irrigation system, and provided the seeds and inputs to start planting together with support from Bayer Cropscience in providing additional seeds and inputs. The Las Pinas LGU took charge of the care and maintenance of the farm through Barangay Talon 2

According to City Agriculturist Ms. Letty dela Cruz, “As of the moment, the planted vegetables already have fruits and are ready to harvest so some residents of Castillan, BFRV started picking vegetables ready to cook. This project is a big help for the community especially during the pandemic.”

With harvesting of vegetables underway, the residents of BRFV have started making use of the fresh vegetables from the farm for their own consumption. The PSIA hopes that the success of this model farm will encourage more residents to considering converting their unused lots into small urban farms.

In doing so, they may be able to increase their food security by having a local source of fresh food,
especially as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

We close with these thoughts from Kagawad Danilo Domingo joins the call for city dwellers to be
resourceful and productive: “My passion is to plant, till the soil and ready my hand and clothing to be soiled. In the city with limited space we can observe planting is done in used tires, containers, pails, tin cans, plastic bottles, etc., that can produce an adequate and continuous supply of vegetables for the family’s daily consumption with a minimum cost, labor and the maximization of the limited space. Masustansay po ang gulay. Tayo po ay mag tanim, masarap umami sa ating sailing tanim.”

For more information, visit the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA).