QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila—To intensify its campaign of motivating the youth to engage in farming, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) launched the “Glamourizing Farming through Urban Agriculture” Program in schools in three different districts in Quezon City.
On October 22, the program was launched in District IV, hosted by the North Fairview Elementary School in Barangay Fairview. In his message, Julio Villapa, school principal, underscored the importance of urban farming, which helped many people become self-reliant amid the ongoing health crisis.
Another program launch was carried out on October 23 in District I, with Bago Bantay Elementary School as the host school. School principal Jocelyn Lopez commended the initiative and highlighted the importance of growing vegetables within the school premises.
“This program will address the issues of malnutrition and food availability,” she said.
On October 26, the program was also introduced in schools covered by the third district of Quezon City. The launch was held at the Kalantiyaw Elementary School in Project 4.
School principal Robin Ramos thanked the Institute for the partnership. He also emphasized that the urban agriculture program will help uplift the quality of education.
“This program will serve as an opportunity to reach out to the community through planting,” Ramos stressed.
School principals, teachers, and representatives from various Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) in the city’s Districts I, III, and IV were present in these launch activities. Schools Division Superintendent Jennilyn Rose Corpuz also graced the events and highlighted the values that the youth may gain from this program.
“Planting helps the children become responsible, industrious, and diligent,” she said. She also challenged the principals and teachers as they fulfill their responsibility to inspire students to venture into agriculture.
Josephine Aben, chief of ATI’s Alliance Building and Grants Management Section, extended her appreciation for the dedication of the school workers and the active participation of the PTAs in the implementation of the program. She then urged the educators to encourage the youth to embrace farming and enroll in agriculture-related courses when they enter college.
In a video message shown during the launch activities, Mayor Joy Belmonte recognized urban agriculture as a game-changer during this pandemic as it helps the city achieve food security.
Meanwhile, grow kits containing vegetable seeds, garden tools, and sprinklers were distributed to assist the participating schools and families in establishing communal gardens in their respective areas. Ceremonial planting activities were also held as part of the city-wide undertaking. (with reports from Ansherina Torres)