DA further intensifies support to urban and peri-urban farming

To promote urban and peri-urban agriculture toward food self-sufficiency, DA and partner agencies launched the Indoor Hydroponic System (IHS) and inaugurated the La Huerta Residential Edible Landscape (EL) Garden on 23 June 2022 at Planters Product Inc., Makati City and Gawad Kalinga (GK) Village, La Huerta, Parañaque City, respectively. 

The IHS aims to increase the production yield of lettuce, kale, tomato, and basil from hydroponics farms using different light systems while assessing their microbial analysis. 

“Food security is everyone’s responsibility,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the launch. 

 He also emphasized the role of local municipalities in ensuring food for their constituents by providing regular budget allocation and supporting different programs aligned with food security. 

Joining Secretary Dar during the launching were DA-assistant secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes, National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program director Gerald Glenn Panganiban, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research assistant director-designate for Research Support Services Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, Planters Product Inc. president  Matt Moderazo, Urban Greens CEO Ralph Becker,  Philippine Agriculture and Resources Research Foundation Inc. president Dr. Candida Adalla, and Food Security ambassador Alexandra Faith Garcia. 

Director Panganiban underscored the need for right technology, proper mentoring and assistance, and support from the government and private partners to win the fight against food insecurity. 

DA-BAR assistant director for Programs Joell H. Lales, together with Research Coordination Division head Amavel A. Velasco, and EL Garden project leader Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., led the inauguration and turnover ceremony of the La Huerta Residential EL Garden. 

The establishment of EL garden  promotes the concept of square foot gardening of edible crops such as lady fingers, bitter gourd, and eggplant to improve food accessibility in urban and semi-urban communities. 

Assistant director Lales discussed the importance of edible landscaping, especially during the time of the pandemic, and reminded the beneficiaries to sustain the garden after the project turnover. 

Fifteen households from the barangay served as project beneficiaries. (### Angelo N. Padura)