August 25, 2021

A gardening initiative benefits 345 households

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) urban gardening initiative has benefitted at least 345 households from 19 localities in the National Capital Region, the agency said on August 25.

“The (coronavirus illness 2019) epidemic struck Metro Manila the worst. That is why we concentrated our efforts there. Who’d have guessed they could plant in the city, despite their cramped quarters? It was made possible by technological advancements “In a virtual news conference, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pea said.

He said that the initiative, dubbed “Gulayan sa Pamayanan,” is the DOST’s response to food scarcity and loss of livelihood.

“It’s one of the DOST’s strategies for ensuring food security. We appreciate the participation of the 19 villages “said de la Pea.

Muntaparlas (Barangay CAA, Las Pias; Barangay BF Homes, Phase 3, Paraaque City; Don Bosco, Paraaque City; Doa Rosario Heights and Paradise Garden group of Sucat, Muntinlupa City; and GAD, MCTI, Putatan, Muntinlupa City), Pamamazon (Barangay 412, Sampaloc, Manila; Claro M. Recto High School

Residents were given gardening supplies as well as instruction in enhanced potting preparation (EPP) and simple nutrient addition program (SNAP) hydroponics.

EPP calls for recycled soda bottles as plant pots, a potting media, coco coir, and a nutrient-rich compost soil extract (CSE) designed for herbs, vegetables, and decorative plants.

In contrast, SNAP hydroponics utilizes recycled styropor boxes, styro cups, and coco peat, carbonized rice hull, sawdust, and fine sand as a growth medium. In addition, a nutritional solution is supplied.

Approximately 3,950 EPP kits, 2,350 SNAP kits, 180 bags of compost, eight coco coir net greenhouses, 1,000 liters of CSE, 100 sets of SNAP solutions, and ten packs of plastic lining were given, according to PCAARRD.

A total of 250 people were educated.

“They were able to get safe and nutritious veggies as a result of this, which helped them avoid starvation. They ate the veggies themselves and sold the surplus to supplement their income. Some were also distributed to neighboring barangays “said de la Pea.

Other government departments are being urged to undertake initiatives similar to the “Gulayan sa Pamayanan,” according to the DOST head.

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