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Vegetable gardening technologies provide additional support to farmers and residents in Cavite and Rizal

Vegetable gardening technologies provide additional support to farmers and residents in Cavite and Rizal

Selected farmers and residents of Cavite and Rizal benefited from vegetable gardening technologies as support during the height of the pandemic.

This was achieved through the project, “Employing Hydroponics and Vegetable Gardening Technologies to Alleviate COVID-19 Threats to Food Security in Selected Municipalities in Region IV-A,” of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC)-Rizal led by its director, Engr. Fernando E. Ablaza.

The completed project was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) as part of the Council’s Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals (GALING)-PCAARRD program. The project was monitored by DOST-PCAARRD's Agriculture Resources Management Research Division (ARMRD).

DOST-PCAARRD, DOST IV-A and Dr. Rodel Maghirang together with the beneficiaries of the project at the Bukid Kabataan Center in General Trias, Cavite (Image Credit: Agricultural Resources Management Research Division)

At least 50 members of the Angono New Normal Farmers’ Association (ANNFA) and 30 residents of Bukid Kabataan Center, Cavite were provided with additional support through the project.

The project had two components: greenhouses in General Trias, Cavite; and vegetable gardens in Angono, Rizal.

Three unutilized greenhouses were rehabilitated under the project, which also adopted CLSU’s Hydroponics Intensive Gardening Technology from the previous PCAARRD-funded projects led by Dr. Chito F. Sace. These greenhouses produced 258 kg of lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. These were distributed to Caritas Manila Inc. and Bukid Kabataan Center Community, benefiting 30 individuals.

Engr. Ablaza said a total of 3,578 pechay seedlings and 1,120 tomato seedlings were planted for the second cropping starting on the last week of August and the first week of September 2022.

Majority of the vegetable produce were distributed in the Bukid Kabataan Center Community and to other beneficiaries.

Caritas Manila Inc., through Bukid Kabataan Center, addresses the problem of undernourished children by conducting HAPAG-ASA Feeding Program in Tondo, Manila. Ms. Gilda de Jesus of DOST-(PSTC)-Cavite mentioned that they were able to employ two farm workers to oversee the greenhouse operations. Backyard gardens with spinach and fern or ‘pako’ were also established to maximize the available space at Bukid Kabataan Center.

ANNFA, a certified legal entity by local government unit (LGU)-Angono, established vegetable gardens in approximately two hectares of vacant lots at Hillsdale Subdivision, Angono, Rizal. Engr. Ablaza said that ANNFA harvested a total 8,224.50 kg vegetables, which were sold for P415,007.50. The remaining 295.50 kg were used for home consumption and 124.75 kg were distributed to other beneficiaries.

The association, together with the LGU-Angono and SM Foundation established a community fresh market at Hillsdale Subdivision and SM Angono. The initiative hopes to create an alternative livelihood opportunity.

Fresh vegetable harvests were sold at SM Angono every Friday until the end of December 2022.

The project continues to support the communities by providing their beneficiaries with skills and knowledge in vegetable farming through trainings and capacity building.

Edible Backyard Garden of Bukid Kabataan, General Trias Cavite  (Image Credit: Agricultural Resources Management Research Division)

DOST-PCAARRD hopes to continue to meet the needs of the beneficiaries by reducing hunger, addressing food requirements, and offering alternative livelihood opportunities despite the restrictions of pandemic. Beneficiaries of the project may encourage other community members to grow vegetables in their own backyards and participate in various urban gardening activities. 

Through the project, DOST-PCAARRD, in collaboration with its partner agencies, hopes to achieve its goal of promoting vegetable gardening technologies through trainings, capacity building and provision of farm tools, equipment and vegetable seeds.