DA-NorMin and PAA undergo assessment for the contenders of the best communal garden regionwide.
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) recently concluded its ocular inspection and validation for the contenders, representing every province of Northern Mindanao vying for the best communal garden title.
Launched in November 2021, the search for the best communal garden is one of the joint projects of the department in coordination with the Philippine Association of Agriculturists (PAA), Inc. – Region 10 (Pineapple Chapter), and the provincial and municipal local governments (LGUs), to ensure food security and sufficiency at the community levels.
Joining the contest are the Tangaro Young Farmers of Catarman, Camiguin; Brgy. Calaocalao in Don Carlos, Bukidnon; Sinai Rural Improvement Club Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental; Brgy. Libertad in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte; and Pan-ay Vegetable Farmers in Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
Of which, the agri department through its provincial operations centers and the concerned LGUs, selected existing community-based vegetable gardens to take part in the competition.
With entries measuring 500 square meters each, the evaluating team rated the gardens according to their physical arrangement, diversity of crops planted, adoption of technology innovations, production yield, and utilization of garden space.
DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado said the initiative is in support to the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (Agri 4Ps) of DA that targets to scale up the country’s food and nutrition security level amid the pandemic, while empowering localities on food production as a source of livelihood.
DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director for Operations, Carlota S. Madriaga, who is also the PAA-10 president bared, that the agri department has provided the participating groups with inputs such as vegetable seeds, organic fertilizers, biopesticides, including the distribution of knapsack sprayer units.
“The communal garden will provide additional income to the communities, and at the same time promote organic and natural farming technology systems. With this [communal garden contest], other small groups from the different sectors will be more encouraged to plant their own vegetables using indigenous materials in a minimal space,” RTD Madriaga remarked.
Meanwhile, Agriculturist II Eva T. Pacturan, who also serves as the regional nutrition focal person, further said, that the initiative particularly addresses malnutrition since fresh, naturally grown, or organic vegetables are made available and affordable in the communities.
Winners for the said competition are set to receive a cash prize and a plaque of recognition, to be announced at around the second quarter of this year. # (EMB.)