Community Church Helps Mainstream Food Production

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Most Reverend Pablo Virgilio David of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan

Most Reverend Pablo Virgilio David leads the blessing of the COVEG 2020–Gulayamanan project in the church compound during the activity. (photo by Daniel Nilo)

CALOOCAN CITY—In the continuous move to mainstream the production of urban-grown food, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) recognize the role of the religious sector in transforming lives and have now joined hands with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan for an urban agriculture project.

This undertaking, under DA’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” Program, was sealed with a Memorandum of Agreement and a formal turnover of more than 1,200 starter kits to the families and communities being assisted by the Diocese.

In her message during the activity, ATI Assistant Director Rosana Mula, assured their partners of their assistance in addressing local demand for food in this time of the pandemic by popularizing home-grown food sources. She explained that aside from the starter kits, the Institute will also consistently provide agri-related training programs through webinars and blended courses.

“One of the best things about having your own garden is the assurance of clean and safe food, as well as contributing to climate change mitigation,” she remarked.

Most Reverend Pablo Virgilio David, DD and the rest of the members of the church expressed their thanks to the DA and supporting agencies for the trust and assistance for their urban farming endeavors through the project, COVEG 2020-Gulayamanan.

“I am confident that this partnership will prosper in a way that will inspire more church communities to do the same, making Caloocan greener, and humanizing our environment,” he said.

According to David, this project is meaningful to them because it ensures availability of safe food not only to poor communities assisted by the church, but also to other households in Caloocan City. This will be managed by the Parish Priest, Rev. Father Eduardo Vasquez, Jr., who is an Organic Agriculture NC II passer.

Along with the starter kits, the Diocese also received hand-sprayers, bags of compost, and other agricultural inputs for their existing urban agri farm in the church compound.

A ceremonial planting activity and blessing of the COVEG 2020-Gulayamanan project were conducted as part of the event held last August 5, 2020 in the Shrine of our Lady of Grace Parish Compound. (With reports from Rosemarie Dulla)

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.