In support of the ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program of the Department of Agriculture, East-West Seed, Agriculture Training Institute-International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH), and the Local Government of Lipa City launched in May the collaborative project entitled: “Stables and Greens: Agri-Livestock Integrated Support to COVID-19- Prone Areas” (ALIS-COVID).

This project aims to mitigate food insecurity problems caused by the pandemic by establishing seven “Stables and Greens” gardens in selected barangays in Lipa City, Batangas. These 200 square-meter gardens can produce vegetables, meat, and eggs for the community beneficiaries.

East-West Seed has trained selected community members on how to successfully grow vegetables and will also hone their entrepreneurial skills by helping them establish an ideal small-scale vegetable enterprise. ITCPH has also provided trainings on raising free-range chickens among the community members.

“We believe that establishing community gardens can empower communities, especially during this difficult time. Through these gardens, they can become more self-sufficient, have access to nutritious food, and even earn additional income for their families,” said Henk Hermans, General Manager of East-West Seed Philippines.

The community beneficiaries in Lipa, Batangas are Barangay San Benito, Barangay Pinagtong-olan, Barangay Marawoy, Barangay Lodlod, Missionary Sisters of the Incarnation at Barangay Tambo, and SOS Children’s Village at Barangay Banaybanay. “The Stables and Greens gardens helped our barangay a lot, especially the 4Ps families who are in charge of maintaining the gardens. They learned how to plant, the right way of growing vegetables, and now they are harvesting the fruits of their labor. They get their food from the gardens and also sell them to other nearby barangays so they can earn extra income. The project also helped in developing a harmonious relationship among the 4Ps families,” said Hon. Quintin Piol, Barangay Captain of San Benito, Lipa City.

The Stables and Greens project will run until 2022 and, in the long-term, envisions to develop a sustainable local food system in the communities with the increased households’ participation in agri-livestock production.