The Quezon City government and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) held the first “Buhay sa Gulay harvest festival” on Thursday at the New Greenland, Bagong Silangan with an expected harvest of 700 kilos of various vegetables.
“After 41 days, we are very grateful that the New Greenland farm is finally having its first harvest. It is worth celebrating because it was made possible through the collective effort of the government and the farmers of Bagong Silangan,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The Luntiang Paraiso urban farm is the first urban vegetable farm in the city under the “Buhay sa Gulay” which is an initiative of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Agriculture (DA).
This project is also in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Bread Society International, and the local barangay.
The one-hectare site within the eleven hectare of New Greenland farm was planted with green leafy vegetables such as pechay, mustasa, kangkong, and spinach.
The farm initially has 70 farmers but it now has over 100 farmers growing crops in the area.
“The city will be their first market as their produce will be used in our mobile and community kitchen that will feed the most food vulnerable sectors in our city. The QC Female Dormitory, through Warden JSupt Maria Lourdes Pacion, has expressed support to buy veggies from them,” Mayor Belmonte said.
Mayor Belmonte also said that the harvest festival can help farmers meet possible markets for their future harvests.
The harvest festival also has other events such as booth competition, cooking festival, and farmer’s products tiangge.
The “Buhay sa Gulay“ initiative is aligned with the city’s food security program “Grow QC: Kasama ka sa Pag-unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan program” that promotes urban agriculture, livelihood, and health toward food security according to Food Security Task Force Co-chairperson and Sustainable Development Affairs head, Emmanuel Hugh F. Velasco.
The local government will provide the farmers with inputs and training in using different agri-technology and pest management after the harvest.
“We will continue our support to them. They are also being trained to become a cooperative so that it will be easier for the city to link them to regular markets,” Velasco said.
They will be expecting 765 metric tons (MT) of vegetables including 29.7 MT eggplants, 0.7 MT sitao, 350 MT Mustasa, 25 MT Squash, 20 MT Okra, and 20 MT Ampalaya every year once the seven-hectare farm is fully utilized.