During the COVID-19 pandemic, when restrictions were prevalent, people saw a decline in available food resources and became distressed. Fortunately, urban and peri-urban agriculture also became increasingly popular among city folk, showing them the significance of growing their food.
Although not an entirely new practice, it gave the public something to do and a reliable food source.
Seeing the positive turnout from metro residents, the local government, with private and public institutions, continues to promote achieving food security in the Philippines by 2050.
The Department of Agriculture promotes it through the National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP), a policy direction of the DA to increase food production and lessen the logistic costs to soften the impact of global concerns like food security, climate change, and the rising costs of fuel and other inputs.
It shall also provide material, technical, and funding support to urban and peri-urban agriculture programs and activities.
DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) Director Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban said during a recent Pandesal Forum at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe that the NUPAP is “a sustainable way of living” as it helps produce food for a city or community.
The primary goal now is to sustain efforts in promoting the program, which is why Panganiban shared that BPI continuously partners with other institutions to make the NUPAP sustainable.
“We want to really upscale and to engage the private sector, with the technology provided, so we can realize kung ano ba talaga ‘tong mga technology na pwedeng makabenefit sa ating mas maraming citizens (We want to really upscale and to engage the private sector, with the technology provided, so we can realize what these technologies really are that can benefit more of our citizens),” Panganiban said.
Also present during the recent Pandesal Forum last November 27 were former DA Secretary William Dar, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) President Cecilio K. Pedro, Professor of Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Global Initiative for Strategic Agriculture in Dry Lands (GISAD) at The University of Arizona Joel Cuello, and realty entrepreneur Wilson Lee Flores as the moderator.