The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) remains committed to help Filipino families become food-secure during this time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The DOST-PCAARRD’s Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives Towards National Goals (GALING-PCAARRD) Kontra COVID-19 Program has established 200 home gardens and 60 community gardens benefiting communities in the Isabela province.
The project, titled “S&T-based Home Gardening towards a Sustainable Source of Food for Families” seeks to provide a sustainable source of food for families in different communities to complement the Pagkain at Kabuhayan sa Pamayanan (PKP), which is a component of the GALING-PCAARRD program. Dr. Florenda B. Temanel of the Isabela State University (ISU) serves as its project leader.
“A total of 500 beneficiaries in the municipalities of Alicia, Echague, San Isidro, and Cordon in Isabela were trained in vegetable production, marketing, and food processing,” the PCAARRD said in a statement.
The Council said 3,500 seed packs, 1,500 seedlings, and assorted vegetable production guides (ampalaya, pechay, kalabasa, upo, okra, patola, sitaw, talong, siling haba, and kamatis), were distributed to partner households.
Temanel said through the setting up of the home and community vegetable gardens, households were given alternative livelihood and provided additional savings to beneficiaries during the imposition of lockdowns in partner municipalities.
She said the produce of the community gardens also benefited the areas where wet markets were inaccessible.
The project also cited that the PCAARRD project induced bayanihan spirit among the beneficiaries who opted to give vegetables for free to their neighbours.
It has been recommended that in the final stage of the project, seed saving, crop succession, and crop rotation must be implemented to ensure its sustainability and improve future-related projects. This was proposed by Dr. Rodel G. Maghirang, retired professor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and project’s S&T consultant.
The virtual terminal review of the project was held on Aug. 31, 2021. It was attended by the project team members from ISU, DOST-PCAARRD representatives, headed by Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services (ARMSS) Melvin B. Carlos, Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development (R&D) Feliciano G. Calora, Jr., and the Crops Research Division, led by the Officer-In-Charge Dr. Allan B. Siano.