Five barangays per municipality of Laguna can soon have fresh supply of vegetables by adopting improved home garden systems through a project.
The project, “Participatory Enhancement of Food Security in Laguna through S&T-based Home Garden Systems” was recently approved for funding by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). It will focus on the adoption of improved home garden systems and promotion of mature crop production technologies and marketing to ensure availability and sustainability of food supply.
Home gardens are effective in enhancing household food security and nutrition, as well as in providing additional household income especially of the vulnerable sectors. It is for this reason that the government has been eyeing the potentials of home and community gardens as a strategy in promoting food security amid crisis.
The system will address the limitations on the supply of vegetables and other foods by growing different crops in a garden such as vegetables, legumes, roots, and herbs for home consumption using low cost inputs. Moreover, the project will facilitate household’s access to quality seeds and planting materials of self- and open-pollinated crop varieties; train household members on crop management and food safety; and improve sustainability of home gardening through participatory and community-based approaches.
One urban municipality from District 1 and one rural municipality in District 3 of Laguna will be the implementing sites of the project. Five barangays will be selected from each municipality to be part of the project. At least 200 cooperators will undergo trainings and develop their own home gardens. One cooperator per barangay will also be selected to establish and maintain a model garden/farm.
Aside from these, the project team will also assist the home gardeners in engaging in semi-commercial vegetable production and in developing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) of seedling production, composting, and other associated technologies.
Mr. Villamor A. Ladia of the Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) will lead the project, through the guidance of IPB Director Rodel G. Maghirang and the Crops Research Division (CRD) of DOST-PCAARRD. The project team will collaborate with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Laguna, particularly with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) and Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAG), the Department of Agriculture (DA)–Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and DA-Regional Field Office IV-A.
The newly-approved DOST-PCAARRD project is part of the “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” component of the “GALING (Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals)–PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 Program,” which aims to curb the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic through R&D and S&T-based interventions.