Issue of August 12, 2018
     
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Basics of backyard gardening shared to 4Ps beneficiaries
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Lack of money should not be reason to go hungry.

Around 440 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program were taught on July 28 the basics of backyard gardening by those who successfully ventured in the endeavor, either in their home backyard, in their offices, or schools. They were also taught food gardening technologies like hydroponics, aquaponics, bio-intensive gardening, and other regenerative agriculture technologies.

National Nutrition Council Chief of Information and Education Division Jovita Raval said teaching 4Ps beneficiaries the basics of gardening guarantees that despite their lack of financial resources, they will still be able to have access to nutritious food by planting right at their own yards or in pots if there is not enough space to plant.

She said if the beneficiaries pursue backyard gardening, they can even earn from it by selling the vegetables they planted fresh or processed.

Raval said mass gardening will also alleviate food shortage in the country.

“Marami sa mga beneficiaries ng 4Ps ay may mga anak na malnourished o kaya sila mismo kulang sa nutrisyon. That’s why we are teaching them gardening technologies so that they can provide enough food for their family,” Raval said.

Speakers during the conference are those who spearheaded backyard or container gardening in their places of work such as those from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Department of Education-CAR.

According to Regina Pagaspas, senior science research specialist of the FNRI, instead of buying vegetables, they harvest in FNRI garden when cooking in their office. She said this increased vegetable consumption among her peers because they are accessible and free.

Pagaspas said vegetable consumption should be encouraged beginning from childhood for intake of food with high fiber content helps prevent metabolic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

“These diseases used to be associated with old age and occur often in developed countries. This is not the case anymore for more people have them even at a young age,” Pagaspas said.

For DepEd, Dr. Angeline Calatan, regional coordinator of the Gulayan sa Paaralan, said vegetables harvested in school gardens are used in their supplementary feeding programs.

“Schools want to address cases of malnutrition especially anemia and stunting so having a garden where there is an available ingredient to supplement the nutritional needs of the children, will greatly help,” Calatan said.

“We want the children to grow up productive adults,” she added.

Meanwhile, veterinarians from the Department of Agriculture also taught the participants poultry, swine, and goat raising techniques.

The NNC said it is also essential for the 4Ps beneficiaries to raise sources of protein where like vegetables, they can be provided not only with food but also income.


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