DOST-NCR Partners with DA-BPI To Boost Urban Agriculture Project

The Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) and Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to strengthen the implementation of the Urban Agriculture Bayanihan Project.

Bureau Director George Y. Culaste and DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III led the signing of the agreement on June 7, 2021.

DOST-NCR will assist in the implementation of the Urban Agriculture (UA) program as one of the modalities to promote gardening that renders available, accessible and affordable safe food addressing hunger among urban poor families in Metro Manila. Brought about limited mobility due to the threat of CoVID-19 pandemic, the UAP will also provide additional income to households and communities in urban areas.

On the other hand, DA-BPI has also assessed 19 developed communities that have already started their own communal gardens under the Gulayan sa Pamayanan project through the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) which were identified by DOST-NCR as the venue for hands-on training to showcase various urban agricultural techniques which include Construction of Nursery/Seedling Greenhouse; Hydroponics; Vertical and Containerized Gardening; and Mushroom Cultivation.

These agricultural initiatives will foster the creation of a community gene bank which will sustain own production and planting materials for the constituents and urban dweller beneficiaries.

RD Patalinjug III stressed that the ultimate goal of this project is to alleviate poverty through the government and Science and Technology interventions. Project partnership with government agencies will also serve as an avenue to support and provide holistic assistance to the program beneficiaries.

Likewise, Director Culaste emphasized the endeavor to encourage more partners in providing sustainable food for the community through different agencies supporting the program with proper monitoring of the identified beneficiaries. According to him, the collaboration with the DOST-NCR community beneficiaries will lead to the overall success of the program.

The Urban Agriculture Program (UAP) is a part of DA’s “Plant, Plant, planting” program in accordance with Republic Act. No. 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” which aims to achieve the goal towards food sustainability and sufficiency by ensuring that there is safe, available, accessible, affordable food, whilst providing additional income to households and communities in urban areas especially during the enhanced community quarantine period throughout the country.

By Nikki Arcinue

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