DILIMAN, Quezon City – Urban households depend significantly on commercial products for food consumption. However, these food products are expensive, and sometimes are not guaranteed fresh and safe to eat. This, and with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting most economic activities, food availability and security are critical.
As such, to help ensure the production and supply of quality vegetable seeds in the market and among urban households, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) conducted a Training on Vegetable Seeds Production and Plant Propagation for some coordinators of different ATI-supported urban agriculture community gardens in Metro Manila. This activity was held at the Function Hall of the Rural Development Educarion Center (RDEC) in the ATI’s Central Office compound last July 21-22, 2021.
The training aims to build the capacities of the participants in producing quality seeds to sustain their respective urban community gardens. It was facilitated by Ronnie De Castro and Ma. Shiela Anunciado of the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), an accredited Extension Service Provider (ESP) of ATI. It comprised of lectures and hands-on activities on: the importance of seeds production in urban and peri-urban areas; production of seeds of lowland and upland vegetables, field legumes, herbs, and spices; reproduction and management of quality seeds; the importance of post-harvest handling and management of seeds and seedlings; and different plant propagation techniques, among others.
As their main output from the training, the participants were tasked to prepare an action plan that they need to implement in their respective communities or schools. Thus, ATI will closely monitor their implementations and provide assistance if needed.
The two-day training is part of the Urban Agriculture Program of ATI, in line with the Plant Plant Plant Program of the Department of Agriculture. The program was launched nationwide with an ultimate goal of augmenting food production and making food readily available to households.