DILIMAN, Quezon City—The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) has partnered with the Department of Education-Schools Division Office of Quezon City (DepEd-SDO-QC) to implement an integrated urban agriculture project.
The partnership was sealed through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by officials of the ATI and DepEd-SDO-QC. This is in support to the DA’s “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID-19” or “Plant, Plant, Plant” Program.
The project, entitled “Establishment of Integrated Urban Agriculture Garden in Schools Division Office of Quezon City”, aims to ensure that safe food sources are available, accessible, and affordable to schools and communities in Quezon City. Likewise, the initiative is seen to provide additional income to its beneficiaries.
Under this partnership, six schools in Quezon City will be provided with technical assistance and initial agricultural inputs which include seeds, garden soil, and vermicompost for its vegetable component. A total of 93 schools will receive seedling trays of assorted vegetables and some 2,000 Agri Grow Kits containing vegetable seeds, soil, and polyethelyne bags. Aside from this, the Institute will provide trainings, online courses, and information, education, and communication materials related to urban agriculture technologies.
The partner schools are expected to sustain the project by providing other necessary supplies and inputs. They will also implement school production undertakings and assist in the monitoring and evaluation activities.
During the MOA signing, ATI Assistant Director Rosana Mula briefed the DepEd-SDO-QC representatives about the components of the urban agriculture initiative and asked for their full support.
“The Institute will provide you with starter kits and we hope that you will help us sustain the program. Let’s make it an opportunity to educate our children and to make food always available at the table,” she said.
In response, DepEd-SDO-QC Education Program Supervisor Roger Tamondong assured the Institute that they will establish a monitoring team to sustain the program. He also expressed gratitude to DA-ATI for the partnership and support.
Meanwhile, another program partner, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan, has received urban agriculture starter kits right after the MOA signing ceremony with DepEd. In the previous month, the Diocese kicked off its partnership with the Institute for the establishment of urban agriculture gardens.
Both activities were held at the ATI-Serrano Hall in Diliman, Quezon City on September 16, 2020.