New Partnerships Sealed with Caloocan, Quezon City Gardening Communities

Representatives of the Kingspoint Urban Garden and the Livelihood Education and Rehabilitation Center (LERC) together with ATI Officials during the MOA-signing Event

DILIMAN, Quezon City – More and more groups in Metro Manila join the advocacy towards community-based initiatives for food security in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic. Two new community-based organizations just onboarded the ATI Urban Agriculture Program (UAP) in the National Capital Region through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing event.

The Kingspoint Urban Garden in Quezon City and the Livelihood Education and Rehabilitation Center (LERC) in Caloocan Caloocan City are the newest addition to the thirty-eight accredited Urban Agriculture Garden sites under the supervision of the Institute’s Central Office in 2021.

ATI OIC Assistant Director Antonieta J. Arceo welcomed the community stakeholders as partners in forwarding food security and beneficial agricultural technologies in the Philippine urban landscape. “Hopefully, our only wish here in the Institute is that, [the community gardens] will be maintained just like what happened with the school gardens,” she expressed.

Extension Programs and Development Section Chief Nemielynn P. Pangilinan briefed the partners on the specifics of the Urban Agriculture Program, and provided insights on how to foster knowledge dissemination in urban agriculture through the Institute’s Information Services such as e-Extension Program’s e-Learning and Farmers Contact Center (FCC), and Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials dissemination.

Kingspoint Urban Garden’s President Lamberto Q. Nolasco reminisced how they heeded the call to address food insecurity amidst the pandemic. Nolasco and his group tapped the ATI for agricultural supplies and conducted community pantries to distribute these resources alongside other food resources. After several successes, Nolasco aspired to empower more impoverished communities in the city through urban gardening. With the partnership, Nolasco is firm in his commitment to fostering the milestones they have established.

On the other hand, LERC Head Richard D. Arceno is hopeful that the partnership will give more opportunities to almost 80% of their immediate community’s population, especially the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), thus ‘reversing’ the vulnerabilities of the latter. “PWDs are not really involved in food security and food production,” says Arceno. Hence, they are optimistic that this milestone will widen horizons for PWDs in contributing towards inclusive development. Aside from this, Arceno envisioned LERC to become a learning hub that caters to the disadvantaged.

The event concluded with the ceremonial MOA signing of the parties followed by the turnover of starting kits. The said community gardens will be formally launched by February to March in 2022.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.