Transforming City Backyards into Veggie Farms

Old Balara residents listen intently to the ATI staff’s urban gardening lectures and demonstration.

OLD BALARA, Quezon City – In the face of today’s growing population, the Department of Agriculture (DA) sharpens its focus on food security and poverty alleviation through its metro-wide urban agriculture project with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) dubbed as the “ATIng Gulayan ng DA”.
To officially set this project in motion, the ATI spearheaded a series of roadshows in different barangays in Metro Manila to encourage local families to transform their backyards into vegetable gardens, starting with Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City.
Old Balara residents warmly welcomed the ATI staff, led by Deputy Director Alfredo Aton. The group gave free lectures and demonstrations on urban gardening and its importance in easing the problem of food scarcity. They likewise emphasized the means to ensure sustainability and nourishment of their families by maximizing what little space they have in their backyards.
“Thank you for your cooperation in this undertaking. We hope that this project will benefit you and your families in the long run,” Aton said as he spoke to the residents.
To help the residents start their own vegetable garden in their backyards, the ATI staff handed out seedlings, vermicast and other planting materials as well as information kits. They further expressed their hope that this initiative will give the residents opportunity to become self-sustaining and benefit economically as well.
The activity was held last December 1, 2016 at the local covered court in coordination with local government units and other DA bureaus and attached agencies such as the Bureau of Plant Industry and Bureau of Soils and Water Management.