DA-BAR launches EL demo garden anew

In time with the DA-BAR’s 35th anniversary celebration, the refurbished edible landscape (EL) demonstration garden at the bureau’s grounds was unveiled on 1 August 2022. The EL garden still serves its original purpose of promoting the EL technology to the bureau’s visitors and clients. 

Ang pagsasaayos ng DA-BAR EL garden ay bahagi ng proyekto na Enhancing Regional Capacities on Urban Agriculture towards Nutrition-sensitive Crop Production through Edible Landscaping. Ito ay naglalayong palakasin at patatagin ang pagbabahagi ng mga DA regional field offices ng mga teknolohiya ng urban crop production at nutrition-sensitive agriculture sa pamamagitan ng mga prinsipyo at kasanayan ng edible landscaping,” said University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) university researcher and UPLB-EL co-project leader Maria Charito E. Balladares. 

The UPLB-EL team utilized and improved both the existing garden and the vacant spaces. For the softscapes, they added 30 edible plants and six ornamentals. Among the edible plants featured in the garden were sweetpotato, pepper, okra, taro, eggplant, ampalaya, lettuce, and tomato.  A new vertical structure filled with herbs and greens was also built. Soil amelioration was also done in the parking lot area and in the lot in front of the building.

 For the hardscapes, a new DA-BAR signage and logo was installed. A greenhouse facility was also established. New lights and walking paths were added; and the gazebo, chairs, table, plant box, and trellis were repainted. 

DA undersecretary for Special Concerns and BARMM Engr. Zamzamin L. Ampatuan, DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano, and DA-Agricultural Training Institute director Dr. Rosana P. Mula led the launching activity. Joining them were DA-BAR assistant directors Joell H. Lales and Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, Korea Project on International Agriculture director Dr. Kyu Seong Lee, and Bauertek general manager Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez. 

Also part of the launching activity were the opening of the Agri-fisheries R4D Photo Contest exhibit, the re-launching of the DA-BAR Technology and Innovation Hub (formerly known as the R&D Technology Commercialization Center), and the soft launching of the DA-BAR Techflix. 

The Agri-fisheries R4D Photo Contest exhibit featured the nine entries that captured the role of generating R4D technologies in the agriculture and fisheries sector, and how the strengthened R4D responded to the challenges especially during the pandemic. 

Initially inaugurated on 7 August 2009, the Technology and Innovation Hub showcased various R4D products and information and communication materials. The hub was renamed and updated to reinvigorate the public’s interest. 

Techflix, the brainchild of former DA-BAR director Dr. Vivencio R. Mamaril, is a web platform akin to streaming site Netflix that aims to showcase R4D technologies supported by the bureau. Continuous improvement is being done to the website to ensure that it will serve its purpose of presenting agriculture and fisheries technologies in a creative and concise manner. (### Rena S. Hermoso)