Empowered PWDs engage in GUGMA Gardening Initiative

Mr. Juna S. Bayag (sitting far left) of Jaya Secret Garden shares some gardening tips to the “Go Urban Gardening: Making Food Available (GUGMA)” training participants mounted by ATI-RTC X. (Photo provided by Jisa Tambiado-Dulay, Development Management Officer-I)

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon---To support the “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat Kontra sa Covid 19 or ALPAS COVID 19” and the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) implements the Urban Agriculture Program in the urban and rural areas of the different regions. This initiative intends to localize food production and ease pressure on transporting goods from production areas to market centers in this time of pandemic where movement are regulated for safety and virus containment purposes.

The program launching and orientation for the Adopt-a-Community in support to the Urban Agriculture Program of the DA was a success through the center’s “Go Urban Gardening: Making Food Available (GUGMA)” gardening initiative last August 12-18, 2020 at Jaya Secret Garden in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

This time around, a total of 101 participants participated in the orientation and training activity with which majority are solo parents and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) consisting of deaf and mute individuals who are still able to do gardening. Persons with disabilities (PWDs), according to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

PWDs and solo parents, who are also Cash for Work Program beneficiaries, are priority participants of the said training as identified by the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) of Malaybalay City. Each training only accommodates 20 participants per batch observing proper health protocols and social distancing. The GUGMA gardening initiative is in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Malaybalay specifically the City Agriculture Office (CAO), CSWD and with the Learning Site (LS) operator, Mr. Junah S. Bayag of Jaya Secret Garden.

Mr. Bayag shared his farming expertise and experience to the participants during the training proper. The activities during the training included a short opening program, actual hand-on activity, urban garden tour, garden layout/garden development plan workshop, presentation of outputs, mind setting as well as open forum.

OIC-Assistant Center Director Noemi Beth G. Macario stressed in her message that there is a need to educate the people in urban areas about the proper planting of vegetables and how to sustain food availability at home. Further, she emphasized that opportunities will come along the way on their gardening activities.

Specifically, the participants were expected to perform and know how to use recyclable materials as planting pots; apply proper fertilization; produce seedlings; identify natural enemies and insect pests; manage common insect pest and diseases; produce and use concoctions; harvest using proper procedure and establish their own backyard garden.

The participants also received assorted vegetable seeds from the City Agriculture Office and additional agricultural supplies that will be used for the establishment of their mini-nursery and household gardens. (with reports from Jisa Tambiado-Dulay, Development Management Officer-I)