TACLOBAN CITY – Despite having been categorized as highly urbanized, this city is still capable of producing tons of your favorite vegetables.
This is what the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would like to prove as it plans to turn an awarded lot under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) into a vegetable garden.
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture and the city government of Tacloban thru the City Agriculture Office, DAR initiated two weeks ago, the plan to make a portion of the 23-hectare lot in Barangay New Kawayan, which is covered by a collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), into a vegetable garden where the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are guaranteed of sure income.
This project according to DAR Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay is dubbed as “Buhay sa Gulay”, which Agrarian Reform Secretary, Brother John Castriciones, would like to be replicated in urban areas nationwide after the successful initial implementation in Tondo, Manila.
This project is expected to contribute to the sufficient supply of food in the city and neighboring towns, aside from providing livelihood to the farmers.
Here, though the project will initially utilize a one-hectare lot planted to fast-yielding crops such as kangkong, pechay, lettuce, okra and pepino, DA’s Romeo Delmo suggested, during last week’s planning session, that they will conduct simultaneously Farmer Field School to the 20 members of the New Kawayan-Cabalawan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Association to sustain the project and by-and-by spreading it until the entire 23 hectares are utilized.
Sonny Colete, 46, an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) of lot-9, which was chosen to be the demo farm, shared that he agreed to make his area as the demo farm “because it is an opportunity for us to be assisted in developing our lots”.
According to him, prior to this project, only a portion of his area was planted with cassava. The rest was idle.
In this project, DAR will provide the farmers with garden tools and other farming materials, while DA and the City Agriculture Office will provide the seeds and training.
The project commenced last week with the preparation of the land, layouting, plot making and plant sowing. Planting of seedlings into their assigned plots is scheduled on February 4.
On the last week of February, it is expected that the farmers could already start harvesting.
At the moment, making of 60 plots measuring one-by-20 meters continues. (JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA)