The “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” project of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) will be an additional source of household income for 10 barangays in Iloilo City and Miag-ao, especially in metropolitan areas.
This will be implemented through the newly approved PCAARRD-funded project, “Urban Spaces as Workplace for Augmenting Income through Gulayan sa Pamayanan Iloilo Kontra COVID-19 Project.”
Dubbed as USWAG IKSP, it will be implemented by the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). “Uswag” from the project title is a Hiligaynon word for progress or moving forward.
“Natural Farming System is the core technology intervention that will be adopted in the project. It involves small-scale production of vegetables in the backyards using recycled containers and communal spaces with multiple cropping applications,” said Prof. Ruben Gamala, project leader from UPV, in a PCAARRD-coordinated project inception meeting.
Gamala also said that two types of gardening applications will be deployed in the project sites — Urban Edible Container Gardening and Land Plots and Communal Edible Gardening.
Through Urban Edible Container Gardening, households having tight available spaces will be encouraged to grow crops in portable and modular planters and use non-biodegradable plastic bottles as plant containers.
On Land Plots and Communal Edible Gardening, the project team is evaluating areas for feasibility of creating land plots where certain percentage of provided seedlings, especially the vining plants, can be transplanted.
As early as February this year, the project has distributed seedlings of pechay, lady’s fingers (okra), pole sitaw, bitter gourd (ampalaya), tomatoes, chili pepper, squash, eggplant, upland kangkong, ginger, turmeric, and radish.
In Iloilo City, participating barangays (Brgys.) are Yulo Drive, Sto Niño Norte, Calaparan, Zamora-Melliza, Dungon A, Ticud, Lanit, Quezon, and Bo. Obrero, while in Miag-ao, there is one participating village, Baybay Sur.
UPV is cooperating with the Western Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVAARRDEC) and the Local Government Units of Iloilo City and Miag-ao through their offices of the City Agriculturist cooperate to fulfill the objectives of this project.
This project is part of the Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals (GALING)-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 Program – “Pagkain at Kabuhayan sa Pamayanan.” It is expected to help boost food security, combat malnutrition, and reduce hunger by providing target household in Iloilo with nutritious vegetable supplies.