Two ongoing projects in Zamboanga are on track in their efforts to provide food production technologies and livelihood opportunities to help families lighten food availability burdens during a health pandemic.
The project, “Embracing Backyard Farming for the Family,” has provided farm inputs, such as assorted vegetable seeds, fertilizers, and tools to 750 households in 13 municipalities in Zamboanga. According to Project Leader Irene Dinoy, the project team is currently monitoring the beneficiaries’ backyard gardens, which are already at harvesting stage.
On the other hand, the project, “Promotion and Utilization of S&T-Based Corn Production Technologies in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic in Zamboanga Peninsula,” provided technical assistance to 60 corn farmers, each having at least 1-hectare farm. Project Leader Michael Molina said that the farmers also received fertilizers, open-pollinated corn varieties, and pest- and disease-control assistance. Currently, all beneficiaries are being assisted in crop insect pests and diseases management, marketing, and household financial improvement.
The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 9 (DA-RFO 9) currently implements both projects under the Grants-in-Aid program of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
Both projects are under the DOST-PCAARRD’s Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals (GALING) PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 program, which seeks to provide training on S&T-based vegetables and corn production tools and techniques, replacing cash aid to beneficiaries and fostering sustainable economic relief to farming households all over Zamboanga Peninsula. DA-RFO 9 promotes the use of open-pollinated corn varieties to promote local food availability.