ILIGAN CITY – As COVID 19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the country changing the way of life of many Filipinos, altering our day to day living, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will not waver in providing its stakeholders the services it deserves. Thus, the latest beneficiary of these activities was the urban household growers of vegetables in Iligan City, and Linamon, Lanao del Norte.
The ATI Regional Training Center X (ATI – RTC X) conducted the briefing and orientation of the program implementation in collaboration with learning site (LS) cooperators and the Local Government Units for the Establishment and Maintenance of Communal or Household Gardens in support to the Urban Agriculture Program, that is in Iligan City, and Linamon, Lanao del Norte. Dubbed as Go Urban Gardening: Making Food Available (GUGMA), is the answer of ATI to address the effects of the pandemic and give concrete solutions that is beneficial to the society. This will ensure continuous food production and safeguard the food supply in the locality. Furthermore, it will also provide food accessibility and stabilize food prices.
During the training, participants are expected to establish their own urban gardens, either individually or as a group, using recyclable materials such as plastic soft drinks containers as pots. Furthermore, they should also be able to apply proper fertilization, produce seedlings, apply concoctions, and harvest using proper procedures, among others.
Three (3) Learning Site Cooperators were tapped to collaborate with the activity. The first LS was that of Margeuries House of Goodies which is owned and operated by Ms. Marie Grace Halibas. She further collaborated with Iligan City Lone District Representative Frederick Siao and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Iligan Chapter headed by Ms. Jessica Alemania. They mustered one hundred fifty (150) participants coming from Barangay Upper and Lower Hinaplanon.
The second LS Cooperator was Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Fernando of Balay sa Hardin in Barangay Luinab, Iligan City. They gathered one hundred (100) participants coming from Barangays Luinab and Villaverde, Iligan City, and various urban gardeners from all over Iligan City. They joined the launching program online through teleconference. All activities held in Iligan City was in collaboration with the City Agriculture Office through OIC-City Agriculturist Judy Oyo-a.
The last LS Cooperator Ms. Nardicelyn Pernitez of Green Thumb Organic and Skills Training Center in Samburon, Linamon, Lanao del Norte. In coordination with the Municipal Agriculture Office through Municipal Agriculturist Irenila Obenza, they have invited one hundred (100) participants to the activity.
In his message during the Launching Program in Linamon, Mayor Randy J. Macapil appreciated the Program of ATI-RTC X and thanked the office for bringing in the program to the municipality. “I encourage all the participants to really participate in this training and apply what you have learned here to your homes. This will ensure that all of you here will not go hungry in this very trying time,” he added.
The activity is in support of the “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat Kontra COVID 19 (ALPAS COVID 19) and the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The initiative will localize food production and will ease the pressure on transporting goods from production areas to marketing centers in this time of pandemic where movements are regulated for safety and virus containment.
Due to the nature of the activity which requires face to face interaction with the participants, the ATI-RTC X assures the public that proper protocols laid down by the COVID19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) were followed, like social distancing, wearing of face mask, and other protective equipment, if necessary, regular handwashing, and regular temperature check of the participants, among others. (With reports from Teodosia D. Jaraba, Moisa Niña D. Catiil-Paglinawan, and Anthonette June D. Russel)