Vegetable gardening program readied by DA

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The Agriculture department will be giving vegetable seeds to gardeners nationwide beginning next year under a program aimed at backyard production.

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“In the 2018 Budget, about P500 million is allocated for vegetable seeds to be distributed,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a Facebook post on Friday.

The National Backyard Vegetable Gardening Program, he said, was agreed upon following a meeting with seed suppliers last Wednesday.

“The program will be implemented by starting a nationwide one-day orientation and training on basic gardening teaching participants how to plant vegetables in their backyard,” he said.

For Metro Manila and urban residents, training and instructions on how to start gardens using discarded containers will be offered.

It will particularly benefit the poor “as they do not have to buy their vegetable supplies in the market,” Pinol said.

Seed suppliers Harbest, Ramgo, Allied Botanical have agreed to provide resource speakers while the department’s Agriculture Training Institute will prepare the training module and the High Value Crops Division will take care of the funding, he said.

“After the training, all participants will be given packets of seeds, including instructional materials, and for urban gardeners, the seeds will come along with planting medium and organic fertilizer.” Pinol said.

The backyard gardening program is also expected to help achieve rice supply sufficiency as studies have found reduced rice intakes due to increased vegetable consumption.

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