Due to pandemic, Agriculture Secretary William Dar has urged the local government units (LGUs) in towns and cities nationwide to produce their own food in support of the government’s program called “Plant, Plant, Plant.”
Its aim is to increase crop production and help stabilize and prices of vegetables and other farm commodities, Dar said.
On Saturday, Jan. 30, Dar directed all regional field offices (RFOs), bureaus and attached agencies and corporations of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to “adopt a town or city” within their respective areas as part of the government’s Plant, Plant, Plant program to rise above the effects of the pandemic in the country.
The project in Lupao, Nueva Ecija, called Pag-Ahon or “Sa palay at gulay ‒ May ani, hanapbuhay, oportunidad at nutrisyon,” is to enhance household food security through vegetable production after the rice harvest season in idle lands and backyards.
“Through this initiative, farm households will not only produce food within their reach, but also have additional [sources] of income. And we want the ‘OneDA’ family to stand by their side in this worthy and sustainable venture,” he said.
It was initiated in May 2020 by DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) under executive John de Leon in partnership with the municipal government, headed by Mayor Alex Rommel, Lupao Vegetable Growers Association, East-West Seed Co. and Dizon Farms.
Dr. Roel Suralta, team leader of DA-PhilRice, said the participating farmers were able to earn an additional income of at least P10,400 monthly from pechay and mustard.
The Lupao Pag-Ahon project team trained 50 farmers and 100 household members from 22 barangay (villages), planting a total of 6.25 hectares to assorted vegetables.
The Lupao farmer-participants started harvesting their vegetable produce in September 2020, delivering and selling these to Dizon Farms, their marketing arm.
Dar challenged the association to make it sustainable and venture into processing.