BUTUAN CITY -- The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Caraga Region joined hands to boost government efforts to address the problem of hunger and ensure a sustainable food supply.
The two agencies participated in the nationwide simultaneous launching of the establishment of a barangay farming project dubbed as HAlina’t magtanim ng Prutas At Gulay sa Barangay Project | Kadiwa Ay Yaman | Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement (HAPAG KAY PBBM) on March 1, 2023.
The regional launching for Caraga was held in Tungao, Butuan City, as a pilot barangay for Caraga Region.
The joint program aims to ensure the availability of food in the communities by engaging barangay residents to produce food for their tables in urban agricultural settings.
Geared towards achieving food affordability, accessibility, and security in the country through urban and peri-urban agriculture and community engagement, the HAPAG KAY PBBM program was made possible by merging two government initiatives on urban agriculture: the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s HAPAG sa Barangay Project and the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Green Revolution 2.0: Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement (PBBM), which was led by the Bureau of Plant Industry, High-Value Crops Development Program and National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program.
The ceremonial planting of vegetable seedlings was graced by the officers and representatives from DA, DILG, PNP, LGUs, religious groups, and the youth sector, where they signified a commitment to the project.
Dailinda M. Mamalis, High-Value Crops and Development Program (HVCDP) Regional Coordinator, said that the project will tap barangay officials in leading their constituents to plant and produce vegetables and fruits in vacant lots in their villages.
"DA has been doing this before. But in this project, we will empower more and capacitate every barangay and household to establish a communal garden. We will provide them training, tools, greenhouse facilities, and other support they would need to get started," she said.
Mamalis also stressed that aside from ensuring accessible and nutritious food, it could also serve as a livelihood for the villagers in the region.
DILG-Caraga vowed to push for the implementation of the project at the barangay level.
"Our efforts, in partnership with the DA and LGU, encourage the community to grow and consume fruits and vegetables and make a significant impact on the health and well-being of our communities. We also commit to providing technical assistance in the implementation of the project," Local Government Operations Officer Marissa M. Mones said.
Barangay San Mateo Chairman Danilo Diaz expressed support for the HAPAG KAY PBBM project. He said that it will be beneficial to his barangay since his people like gardening.
"I will strongly support this project because most of my constituents have the spaces, and they are very much willing to plant. I foresee already that we will no longer travel far to go to buy vegetables if we could have our own communal garden," he stated.
The launching of HAPAG KAY PBBM was simultaneously held in various pilot barangay in the country spearheaded by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. (Lovely Joy L. Saludez, DA-Caraga/PIA Caraga)