This October, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) joins the world in celebrating Vegetarian Awareness Month and supports Filipino consumers in exploring plant-based options for diet and nutrition.
Vegetarian Awareness Month is observed in different countries every year, as it kicks off with World Vegetarian Day on October 1 and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1. World Vegetarian Day was founded in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978.
This annual celebration aims to “promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism." It seeks to bring awareness to the ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
With more Filipinos choosing to maintain a healthy diet to stay fit and boost immunity, vegetables, fruits, and grains remain to be an important part of every family’s meal. As the extension arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the ATI is one with the global effort to keep the public well-informed as they make the choice to adopt a balanced and well-planned plant-based diet.
At present, the Institute supports vegetable farming and planting activities in the household level through the urban agriculture initiative of the DA’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program. To date, over 19,000 households have received vegetable seeds and seedlings as part of the urban agriculture starter kits distributed under the program.
This is supported by information, education, and communication activities through multimedia platforms, as well as free webinars conducted by ATI training centers nationwide. Free online courses on different crop production technologies are also available through the e-Learning program which can be accessed through www.e-extension.gov.ph/elearning.