‘Vegetable garden city’ eyed in Tondo

‘Vegetable garden city’ eyed in Tondo

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) – October 6, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is set to convert a one-and-a-half-hectare idle lot in Tondo, Manila into a “vegetable garden city” for the benefit of residents in surrounding villages.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones said the lot is located at St. John Bosco Parish Church and its parish priest, Fr. Gaudencio Carandang, has given his approval for the project.

“The DAR will provide the farm inputs – seeds, seedling trays, garden tools, fertilizer and pesticide,” Castriciones said, adding that barangay officials have volunteered to tend the garden.

He added that the harvested vegetables would be distributed among the participating barangays’ residents.

Castriciones said he raised the idea after the idle lot caught his eye as he distributed food packs to poor families in Tondo.

The food packs consisted of cabbage and round radish sold at a bargain by a farmers’ group in Nueva Vizcaya, whose harvest was unsold and rotting.

“Instead of going to waste, we might as well, make use of these vegetable surplus to feed the hungry,” Castriciones said during the food distribution program.

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‘Vegetable Garden City’ to rise in Tondo

A 1.5-hectare idle lot within the premises of the Saint John Bosco Parish in Tondo, Manila will be transformed into a “vegetable garden city” in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

DAR Secretary John Castriciones

The program aims to serve the daily subsistence of people in the surrounding communities.

“The DAR will provide the farm inputs – seeds, seedling trays, garden tools, fertilizer, and pesticide. Kailangan lang natin volunteer garden workers. (We just need volunteer garden workers),” DAR Secretary John Castriciones said, adding that the barangay officials readily volunteered to be the garden workers.

“So, there’s no more problem. May magbubungkal na ng lupa. (Someone will already plow the land). It’s a deal,” he added.

The Saint John Bosco Parish said the “vegetable garden city” is a “very good project,” as it hopes that the vegetables to be harvested would be distributed to the constituents of the participating barangays.

Castriciones raised the idea of a vegetable garden after the vast idle lot caught his attention while distributing relief packs to the poor families in Tondo, Manila.

The food packs contained cabbage and high-breed round-shaped raddish sold at a bargain price by an agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organization in Nueva Vizcaya, which enjoyed bountiful harvests, many of them are rotting because of over production.

“Instead of going to waste, we might, as well, make use of these vegetable surplus to feed the hungry,” Castriciones said.





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