Villar touts backyard farming for Filipinos

Published April 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Cynthia Villar on Sunday reiterated her call for the government to promote home gardening and backyard farming as a way to help citizens attain food security.

Sen. Cynthia Villar (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Cynthia Villar
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said she has included in her relief efforts to help communities under the enhanced community quarantine the distribution of vegetable seeds to encourage them to adopt this strategy.

“I’ve always advocated for home gardening as a strategy for food security and for the alleviation of nutrient deficiency,” Villar said in a statement.

“It will be a big help for families to have direct access to nutritious foods that they don’t have to buy,” she stressed.

Villar said she started the distribution of packed seeds of tomato, eggplant, pumpkin, ampalaya, sweet pepper, hot pepper, corn, sitaw and mung beans to 61 different barangays in Las Piñas, Cavite and Bulacan.

The senator said home gardening and growing your own food is helpful in times of emergencies like typhoon, volcanic eruption, and even occurrence of frost.

But it is now more helpful as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic while everyone is told to stay at home to lessen the chances of spreading the virus and there’s disruption in the supply of fruits and vegetables.

Earlier, Villar encouraged the use of e-learning sites and online tutorials to learn how to plant and easily grow crops. According to the senator, planting is a good family activity while on quarantine.

The packets of seeds she distributed also come with instructions on how to plant and care for the plants.

“We should take advantage of the quarantine, when we are all mandated to stay home and take care of ourselves, to stay productive by starting to plant seeds, grow food and harvest later on,” Villar said.