DILIMAN, Quezon City—The promotion of urban agriculture as a strategy of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for food security has extended to Caloocan through the city’s Department of Education-Schools Division Office (DepEd-SDO).
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the DA, through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and DepEd-SDO Caloocan for the implementation of an urban agriculture project under the “Plant, Plant, Plant” Program. Under this partnership, the ATI will provide technical assistance and initial agricultural inputs for the establishment of urban agriculture gardens in 10 local schools.
A total of 2,000 urban agriculture starter kits, which contain vegetable seeds, garden soil, and polyethylene bags for container gardening, will be distributed. The ATI will also provide training for the community, as well as information, education, and communication materials on different urban farming techniques.
For their part, the partner schools will ensure the sustainability of the project by providing the necessary supplies and inputs for production activities in their respective urban agriculture gardens. Likewise, they are expected to promote integrated urban agriculture among the residents.
During the MOA signing, Engr. Renato Dela Cruz, chief of the ATI-Partnerships and Accreditation Division, acknowledged the important role of schools and teachers in popularizing urban agriculture among children.
“With your passion and hard work as educators, I know that this program will be a sustainable one,” he said as he spoke to the school principals present at the event.
Moreover, ATI Assistant Director Rosana Mula urged the representatives of DepEd-SDO Caloocan to maximize the inputs provided as they put up their own urban agriculture gardens. ATI Director Alfredo Aton, likewise, encouraged the school principals to lead hands-on activities on gardening for the children so that they will learn to appreciate its importance.
“If you can also produce your own seeds, we will be able to ensure the sustainability of the program,” Aton said.
DepEd-SDO Caloocan’s Education Program Supervisor Allan Salom accepted this challenge and assured the Institute that they are committed to promoting urban gardening for food security.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program. This will bring us closer to our community, the teachers, and the parents,” he shared.
After the MOA signing, the school principals also received urban agriculture starter kits. The activity was held at the ATI-Rural Development and Education Center in Diliman, Quezon City on October 6, 2020.