In a bid to cushion the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on farming communities, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has initiated a vegetable farming project for farmers in Angono, Rizal.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the DOST-Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) pushed for the use of hydroponics and vegetable gardening technologies to alleviate COVID-19 threats to food security in selected municipalities in Calabarzon.
The project is part of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development’s (DOST-PCAARRD) “GALING-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 program.”
The DOST-Calabarzon embarked on the farming project through the Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTC) of Cavite and Rizal.
“Under this project, DOST-PSTC Rizal programmed various training and seminars on farming and provided modern farm tools and equipment for the members of the Angono New Normal Farmers’ Association (ANNFA),” de la Peña said in a report.
These include water pumps, grass cutter, weighing scale, knapsack sprayers, and farm tools such as trowels, garden rakes, cultivators, transplanters, pick mattocks, spades, cutting hooks, and sets of gloves, he said.
“With quality seeds such as pole sitao, squash tomato, eggplant, bottle gourd, okra, and mustard distributed in February, ANNFA members are now starting to harvest quality vegetables,” the DOST chief cited.
“The focus now is on assistance in marketing their produce and sustaining their farming activities.”
De la Peña also disclosed that the PSTC-Cavite had just started the pre-fabrication for the rehabilitation of three greenhouses in the Bukid Kabataan Center in General Trias City, Cavite.
The initiative is part of the project “Sustainable Community-based Vegetable Intensive and Efficient Technology-Driven Production Systems (Sustainable Vegies) for Bukid Kabataan Center”.
“This will be followed by the installation of the CLSU (Central Luzon State University) Advanced Hydroponics System,” he said.