ATI Engages Urban Youth in Agriculture

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Young residents of Barangay Malaria, Quezon City learn how to plant vegetables using recycled plastic bottles. (photo by Clemente Gabion)

CALOOCAN CITY, Metro Manila—In its continuing drive to engage more Filipino youth in agriculture, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) launched the project entitled “Glamourizing Farming through Agriculture: Metropolitan Youth in Sustainable and Healthy Living” this year.

The project aims to develop the appreciation of young people in urban areas toward farming and involve them in agricultural work through the establishment of 4-H Clubs in their communities. The ATI also seeks to integrate farming into the lifestyle of urban dwellers and develop “champions” in the communities to serve as partners of the Department of Agriculture in its advocacies towards the attainment of food security and sustainability.

The project includes orientation on urban agriculture and 4-H Club in different barangays in Metro Manila. Starter kits will also be distributed to help these partner communities create individual or communal gardens in their respective areas.

The ATI, through the Partnerships and Accreditation Division (PAD), kicked off the campaign with the residents of Barangay Malaria, Caloocan City. PAD officers spoke to 30 youth and women in the community on the values of basic food production, healthy food systems, and clean urban environment.

In his speech, PAD Chief Renato dela Cruz stressed the importance of building the interest of young people towards agriculture and involving them in farming. Barangay Malaria coordinator Richard Arceno extended his appreciation for the ATI for creating the project which he said provides an opportunity for the youth to gain knowledge about agriculture as well as the 4-H Club in the Philippines.

The participants were thankful for the lectures which gave them insight on how they can do farming in their backyards. One of them shared, “I’m happy to know that we can still grow [vegetables] in our home using recycled plastic bottles.”

The activity was held on February 22, 2018. It is the first of the monthly series of barangay caravans slated this year.