Two projects that will aid communities in Isabela and Leyte in terms of injecting science and technology (S&T) in vegetable production were recently launched by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The said projects are part of the program, “Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals (GALING)-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19,” which started in 2020.
Under the Pagkain at Kabuhayan sa Pamayanan component, the projects titled, “Intensifying Vegetable Production to Mitigate Crisis Brought about by COVID-19” and “S&T-based Home Gardening Towards a Sustainable Source of Food for Families” are being implemented by the Visayas State University (VSU), and Isabela State University (ISU), respectively.
According to Dr. Edna A. Anit, Director of the Crops Research Division of DOST-PCAARRD, these short-duration livelihood projects were funded by the Council to address the immediate challenges on food security and livelihood brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an inception meeting, ISU Director for R&D and Project Leader Dr. Florenda B. Temanel discussed her team’s initial social mobilization activities with partner cooperators in selected barangays of Isabela. Among the target outputs of the project are to establish 60 community gardens and train at least 500 people in Isabela on vegetable production, gardening, and food processing.
Meanwhile, Dr. Othello B. Capuno, Project Leader and VSU Vice President for R&D, reported the production and distribution of more than 15,000 seedlings and 11 metric tons of assorted vegetables to around 6,000 beneficiaries.
VSU targets to curb the adverse impact of the pandemic on food supply by planting assorted vegetables and other short-term crops. This will also address the needs of communities and selected institutions in Leyte for fresh and healthy vegetables.
Other participants of the said meeting are the project team members and administrative staff from VSU and ISU, and DOST-PCAARRD representatives led by Dr. Edna A. Anit and Mr. Ramon A. Oliveros, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Office of the Executive Director-Administration, Resource Management and Support Services (OED-ARMSS).