Building an Agriculturally-aware Nation: ATIng Gulayan Street Caravan Goes to Schools

Children get to experience what Urban Farming is as they plant tomato seeds by themselves.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Apart from reaching out to communities and barangays, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) makes sure to promote urban farming to various educational outfits in the metro.

Following its first ever street caravan held December last year, ATI visited several schools in barangays Old Balara and Krus na Ligas to promote Urban Farming. Lessons about the basics of urban farming and demonstrations were conducted during the caravan, including practical learning activities for the participants. Free tomato, cabbage, and chili seeds as well as garden soil with vermicompost were given to the participants.

As such, during the caravan, the participants got to try for themselves planting these seeds and ask questions from ATI’s team of agriculturists from its Partnership and Accreditation Division.

Selected Grade 6 students of Old Balara Elementary School, parents, and teachers from various levels joined the activity. Notably, there were some students from the Alternative Learning System program that also took part in the activity. Moreover, the Rural Improvement Center of Barangay Krus na Ligas was also visited by ATI’s caravan team. The participants of this barangay were eager to learn how one could utilize what little space they have for planting.

“Kapag mayroon po tayong sariling taniman sa bahay, hindi na natin kailangang gumastos. Makakasiguro din po tayo na masustansya at walang kemikal yung mga pagkain na kakainin natin kasi tayo mismo ang nag-alaga at nagpalaki sa mga ito,” shared Jen Umandam, a grade 6 student of Old Balara Elementary School.

Meanwhile, ATI OIC-Director Luz A. Taposok expressed her gratitude to the schools for partnering with ATI in the promotion of urban farming. She as well hoped for the success of this partnership in influencing one family, one community at a time.

Last January 31, 2017 marked the first time that ATI has demonstrated urban farming to schools. Hence, ATI is set to conduct more street caravans around the cities of Metro Manila.

Aimed at influencing communities to plant for a safe, sustainable, and accessible food for every Filipino, the ATIng Gulayan Street Caravan started December last year, adjacent to the ATIng Gulayan that was established at ATI’s Central Office compound in Diliman.