The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) has delivered some 10,000 seedlings of vegetables to the Caloocan City government to help residents address food self-sufficiency amid the coronavirus pandemic.
DENR-NCR’s Production Forest Management Section chief Arturo Calderon supervised the delivery of the seedlings to the city government last Oct. 28.
A total of 10,200 seedlings—composed of lettuce, tomato, and pechay—were provided to Caloocan City, which they can grow and redistribute to their constituents.
DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan expressed the regional office’s committment in helping all 17 LGUs of Metro Manila in its pursuit of food security.
According to her, this is the main reason why DENR-NCR entered into an agreement early this year with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“As Metro Manila relies on the provinces for its supply of farm produce, we saw the need for integrating urban farming in our regreening strategy, especially as the supply and delivery of goods from the provinces have been affected by public health and safety measures authorities have set in place,” Caancan said.
“So now, apart from native trees and ornamental plants, we’re also growing vegetables in our nurseries to give to organizations and people interested in backyard planting,” she added.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) earlier signed by the DENR-NCR and DA-BPI aims to raise seedlings of high-value vegetable crops to help ensure food security in Metro Manila amid the community quarantine.
The vegetable seedlings that will be produced in the joint undertaking will be distributed to barangays of Metro Manila with urban farming or gardening programs.
Under the MOA, BPI agreed to provide technical assistance on seedling production, vegetable seeds, and other agricultural inputs to DENR-NCR.
Meanwhile, the DENR-NCR will provide the necessary facilities and manpower for the project.